India needs newer and innovative ways like mHealth to provide care and compensate for the deficiencies of the healthcare workforce and infrastructure. The country does not meet the minimum WHO recommendations for healthcare workforce and bed density. A large segment of the population resides in rural areas, where the numbers are even worse. In particular, the low-income group lacks access to quality healthcare.
The scope for leveraging mHealth as an alternate delivery channel in India is substantial. As of January 2017, the global average for mobile Internet traffic as a percentage of the total web traffic is 50%. India ranks second on this parameter at 78%. Clearly, more and more Indians are accessing the Internet on their mobile phones. This significant behavioural change is an important factor for mHealth adoption.
This report explores the applicability of mHealth in the Indian context by looking at the barriers, relevance and feasibility of mHealth. It also provides pointers on how mHealth can be leveraged to improve care outcomes in India.