E-health to be focus at ITU Telecom World, Dubai

UN telco co-ordinator enlists WHO to urge healthcare revolution

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E-health to be focus at ITU Telecom World, Dubai One planned discussion will examine the use of mobile technology to combat non-communicable diseases.
By  Stephen McBride Published  September 30, 2012

Emerging e-Health technologies and their applications for revamping healthcare delivery will be a focal point at the International Telecommunication Union's (ITU) annual forum ITU Telecom World 2012, taking place in Dubai 14-18 October.

In concert with fellow UN agency the World Health Organisation (WHO), US telco Verizon, global management consultancy McKinsey, and the government of Uganda, ITU will hold a series of sessions focused on the ambitious goal of global delivery of e-Health solutions.

One planned discussion will examine the use of mobile technology to combat non-communicable diseases such as diabetes, cancer and cardio-vascular diseases, in particular via text messaging and apps. In both emerging and developed economies, these diseases are the most prevalent and are the greatest contributor in determining national mortality rates.

Verizon will chair a session that will demonstrate e-Health capabilities and the potential benefits and challenges of their implementation. A high-profile panel including representatives of the ICT and healthcare industries will debate the regulatory, commercial and social obstacles that need to be addressed in delivering widespread e-Health facilities.

McKinsey will co-host a cross-sector panel debate featuring Dr Oleg Chestnov, Assistant Director-General, WHO, to discuss the role of business-to-consumer (B2C) applications in creating sustainable healthcare systems and identifying the new business models and structural changes that will bring about mass market adoption of e-Health applications.

The government of Uganda will run a workshop on e-Health prospects at the event. Uganda, home to a large number of varied pilot e- and m-health projects will share a number of lessons on a case-study basis and outline the need for cross-sector ventures.

"The depth and richness of the conference panel sessions at ITU Telecom World 2012, and the status and strength of the contributing panellists and supporting event partners, are indicative of the central importance of e-Health in improving delivery of healthcare and awareness around the world," said ITU secretary-general Hamadoun I Touré.

"With new developments in mobile technologies and the potential of m-Health, we can bring healthcare into the palm of our hands, wherever we are in the world, revolutionizing lives and impacting on economies."

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