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Prospects of mHealth services in Bangladesh: recent evidence from Chakaria.

Khatun F, Hanifi SM, Iqbal M, Rasheed S, Rahman MS, Ahmed T, Hoque S, Sharmin T, Khan NU, Mahmood SS, Peters DH, Bhuiya A - PLoS ONE (2014)

Bottom Line: Males, younger age group, better educated, and those from richer households were more knowledgeable about the existing mHealth services.Although knowledge of the existence of mHealth services was low, it was encouraging that the compliance with the prescriptions was almost similar for advice received through mobile phone and physical visits.The study revealed clear indications that society is looking forward to embracing the mHealth technology.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: International Centre for Diarrhoeal Disease Research, Bangladesh (icddr,b), 68 Shaheed Tajuddin Ahmed Sarani, Mohakhali, Dhaka-1212, Bangladesh; School of Public Health and Community Medicine, The University of New South Wales, Kensington, New South Wales 2052, Australia; Asia-Pacific ubiquitous Healthcare Research Centre, School of Information Systems, Technology and Management, Australian School of Business, The University of New South Wales, Kensington, New South Wales 2052, Australia.

ABSTRACT

Introduction: Bangladesh has a serious shortage of qualified health workforce. The limited numbers of trained service providers are based in urban areas, which limits access to quality healthcare for the rural population. mHealth provides a new opportunity to ensure access to quality services to the population. A recent review suggested that there are 19 mHealth initiatives in the country. This paper reports findings on people's knowledge, perception, use, cost and compliance with advice received from mHealth services from a study carried out during 2012-13 in Chakaria, a rural sub-district in Bangladesh.

Methods: A total of 4,915 randomly-chosen respondents aged 18 years and above were interviewed.

Results: Household ownership of mobile phones in the study area has increased from 2% in 2004 to 81% in 2012; 45% of the respondents reported that they had mobile phones. Thirty-one percent of the respondents were aware of the use of mobile phones for healthcare. Very few people were aware of the available mHealth services. Males, younger age group, better educated, and those from richer households were more knowledgeable about the existing mHealth services. Among the respondents who sought healthcare in the preceding two weeks of the survey, only 2% used mobile phones for healthcare. Adherence to the advice from the healthcare providers in terms of purchasing and taking the drugs was somewhat similar between the patients who used mobile phone for consultation versus making a physical visit.

Conclusions: The high penetration of mobile phones into the society provides a unique opportunity to use the mHealth technology for consulting healthcare providers. Although knowledge of the existence of mHealth services was low, it was encouraging that the compliance with the prescriptions was almost similar for advice received through mobile phone and physical visits. The study revealed clear indications that society is looking forward to embracing the mHealth technology.

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Household mobile phone ownership.
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pone-0111413-g001: Household mobile phone ownership.

Mentions: In the survey area, 45.5% of the respondents reported that they had a mobile phone (Table 2). 81% of the households had at least one phone. Data from the HDSS, independent of the present survey, recorded a steady increase in household ownership of mobile phones from 2% in 2004 to 81% in 2012 (Figure 1). The ownership of mobile phone was higher among males, younger age-groups, people from richer households, and the more-educated persons compared to females, those who were over 50 years of age, people from poorer households, and people with no education (Table 2).


Prospects of mHealth services in Bangladesh: recent evidence from Chakaria.

Khatun F, Hanifi SM, Iqbal M, Rasheed S, Rahman MS, Ahmed T, Hoque S, Sharmin T, Khan NU, Mahmood SS, Peters DH, Bhuiya A - PLoS ONE (2014)

Household mobile phone ownership.
© Copyright Policy
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC4222888&req=5

pone-0111413-g001: Household mobile phone ownership.
Mentions: In the survey area, 45.5% of the respondents reported that they had a mobile phone (Table 2). 81% of the households had at least one phone. Data from the HDSS, independent of the present survey, recorded a steady increase in household ownership of mobile phones from 2% in 2004 to 81% in 2012 (Figure 1). The ownership of mobile phone was higher among males, younger age-groups, people from richer households, and the more-educated persons compared to females, those who were over 50 years of age, people from poorer households, and people with no education (Table 2).

Bottom Line: Males, younger age group, better educated, and those from richer households were more knowledgeable about the existing mHealth services.Although knowledge of the existence of mHealth services was low, it was encouraging that the compliance with the prescriptions was almost similar for advice received through mobile phone and physical visits.The study revealed clear indications that society is looking forward to embracing the mHealth technology.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: International Centre for Diarrhoeal Disease Research, Bangladesh (icddr,b), 68 Shaheed Tajuddin Ahmed Sarani, Mohakhali, Dhaka-1212, Bangladesh; School of Public Health and Community Medicine, The University of New South Wales, Kensington, New South Wales 2052, Australia; Asia-Pacific ubiquitous Healthcare Research Centre, School of Information Systems, Technology and Management, Australian School of Business, The University of New South Wales, Kensington, New South Wales 2052, Australia.

ABSTRACT

Introduction: Bangladesh has a serious shortage of qualified health workforce. The limited numbers of trained service providers are based in urban areas, which limits access to quality healthcare for the rural population. mHealth provides a new opportunity to ensure access to quality services to the population. A recent review suggested that there are 19 mHealth initiatives in the country. This paper reports findings on people's knowledge, perception, use, cost and compliance with advice received from mHealth services from a study carried out during 2012-13 in Chakaria, a rural sub-district in Bangladesh.

Methods: A total of 4,915 randomly-chosen respondents aged 18 years and above were interviewed.

Results: Household ownership of mobile phones in the study area has increased from 2% in 2004 to 81% in 2012; 45% of the respondents reported that they had mobile phones. Thirty-one percent of the respondents were aware of the use of mobile phones for healthcare. Very few people were aware of the available mHealth services. Males, younger age group, better educated, and those from richer households were more knowledgeable about the existing mHealth services. Among the respondents who sought healthcare in the preceding two weeks of the survey, only 2% used mobile phones for healthcare. Adherence to the advice from the healthcare providers in terms of purchasing and taking the drugs was somewhat similar between the patients who used mobile phone for consultation versus making a physical visit.

Conclusions: The high penetration of mobile phones into the society provides a unique opportunity to use the mHealth technology for consulting healthcare providers. Although knowledge of the existence of mHealth services was low, it was encouraging that the compliance with the prescriptions was almost similar for advice received through mobile phone and physical visits. The study revealed clear indications that society is looking forward to embracing the mHealth technology.

Show MeSH