mHealth Services Extend the Quality and Reach of Patient Care and Help to Overcome the Growing Healthcare Burden and Lack of Resources

São Paulo: The GSMA today unveiled research that demonstrates the socio-economic transformation that mHealth adoption will have in Latin America, with findings indicating that more than 40 million additional patients could be treated in Brazil and Mexico alone in 2017 through the use of mHealth services. A new GSMA report, developed in collaboration with PwC and released today at HOSPITALAR 2013 in São Paulo, identified significant benefits of mHealth implementation in Brazil and Mexico in 2017 that will:

Empower poor and chronic patients

  • Extend healthcare to 28.4 million additional patients in Brazil and 15.5 million patients in Mexico in 2017
  • Equip around 16 million citizens to improve their lifestyle and reduce the impact of chronic diseases, prolonging lives

Sustain universal healthcare systems

  • Enhance quality of care and efficiency of care delivery, saving $17.9 billion in costs ($14.1 billion in Brazil and $3.8 billion in Mexico)
  • Create 200,000 jobs to support mHealth deployments across Brazil and Mexico

Improve quality of life

  • Save almost 16,000 lives and add 23,000 life years, as well as save doctors 14.6 million working days through improved prevention, diagnosis and treatment
  • Ensure that citizens constitute a healthier workforce, adding $ 12.9 billion to the GDP of Mexico and Brazil

“mHealth can help countries like Brazil and Mexico tackle the significant challenge of providing universal healthcare to a large, dispersed population,” said Jeanine Vos,Executive Director, mHealth at the GSMA. “The pressures on healthcare resources and the increasing burden of chronic diseases make it key to deploy innovative and cost-effective solutions. mHealth willenhance the reach, efficiency of spend and effectiveness of care to provide better quality health services to more people. Therefore it is critical that governments and regulators work with healthcare providers and mobile operators to drive mHealth adoption.”

Removing barriers to mHealth adoption
The benefits of mHealth will not be realised without decisive action from regulators and governments. If action isn’t taken then only 10 percent of patients that could benefit from mHealth adoption in Brazil and Mexico will do so in 2017. The impact of this would be:

  • Healthcare savings in Brazil and Mexico could be limited to only $1.5 billion and $0.4 billion respectively
  • Brazil and Mexico would be restricted to treating 3 million and 1.7 million additional patients instead of the potential 43.9 million total
  • GDP gains could be limited to $0.5 billion in Brazil and $0.9 billion in Mexico, compared to the combined $12.9 billion if adoption reaches its potential in 2017

There are four main sets of barriers that will limit the adoption of mHealth across Latin America. These include:


  • Policy and regulatory approaches are not yet developed to support mHealth solutions reaching patients and healthcare professionals quickly and effectively. The absence of clear regulatory frameworks that guide the development and deployment of these services is slowing down adoption


  • Current healthcare systems incentivise individual treatments and medical prescriptions rather than focus on preventative and continuous care.
  • It is important to build clinical evidence that demonstrates the positive impact mHealth can provide, in order to get buy-in from the clinical community and payors, such as governments and insurers


  • The fragmentation of healthcare systems in Brazil and Mexico restricts the sharing of information and alignment of processes, preventing mHealth from scaling effectively

Technology related

  • The lack of interoperability and standardisation of mHealth solutions can localise the implementation, limiting the scalability of mHealth

The GSMA is calling on regulators to create an environment that incentivises and encourages the use of mHealth. This will require regulators to work with governments and healthcare providers to ensure greater cohesion; advocate sharing of evidence and case studies; reward performance gains from mHealth to expedite its implementation; and educate and support citizens in adopting mHealth services for wellness and treatment.

For more information on the GSMA’s mHealth programme and to view the report, please visit:


About the GSMA
The GSMA represents the interests of mobile operators worldwide. Spanning more than 220 countries and territories, the GSMA unites nearly 800 of the world’s mobile operators with more than 230 companies in the broader mobile ecosystem, including handset makers, software companies, equipment providers and Internet companies, as well as organisations in industry sectors such as financial services, healthcare, media, transport and utilities. The GSMA also produces industry-leading events such as the Mobile World Congress and Mobile Asia Expo.

For more information, please visit the GSMA corporate website at or Mobile World Live, the online portal for the mobile communications industry, at

Media contacts for the GSMA
Tatiana Cantoni (Brazil/Latin America)
+55 11 2858-9190
[email protected]

GSMA Press Office (UK/Worldwide)
[email protected]