Mobile broadband is an enabler to spearhead and modernize e-health services in Latin America

Date: Tue, 10/18/2016 - 12:36 Source: 5G Americas

Mobile broadband networks provide a tremendous opportunity to enable the expansion of e-health services in rural and low-income areas in Latin America. The rapid expansion of wireless networks coupled with the speeds offered by 4G enable the deployment of advanced solutions for e-medicine

Mobile broadband is an enabler to spearhead and modernize e-health services in Latin America

José Otero, Director of 5G Americas for Latin America and the Caribbean

Image credited to 5G Americas

Wireless telecommunications services provide an opportunity to enhance e-health services based on their capacity to expand coverage to sectors of the population that are distant from major urban centers. Hence, they become a significant tool to help societies’ economic and social development, as indicated in the 2016 Latin America e-health white paper published by 5G Americas.
“By creating new conditions to enhance the deployment and adoption of wireless broadband technologies, governments also increase the number of entities that can benefit from e-health and e-medicine services and applications. Wireless connections with very low latencies transmitting data at high speed could enable these services for surgical procedures or others requiring prompt diagnoses. To achieve it, adequate conditions are required for technologies like LTE and LTE-A to expand their coverage in the different markets in the region,” stated José Otero, Director of 5G Americas for Latin America and the Caribbean. 
The paper stresses the importance for governments to strive to achieve participation of more market players in the information and communications technology (ICT) industry in their e-health initiatives, expanding their presence not only by connectivity but also by creating – or promoting — applications and content to such ends.
Mobile applications for e-health will gain further importance in the mid-term as mobile technology for the Cellular Internet of Things (CIoT) is deployed, i.e. once connections are achieved by mobile broadband networks between objects, machines and devices without human intervention.
Mobile broadband services play an important role in the preventive phase of e-health. The recent proliferation of applications aimed at checking and preventing various diseases are an opportunity to render these practices common-place, mainly from higher penetration of smartphones in the markets.
The document underscores the importance of increasing cooperation between governments, the ICT and health sectors to enhance access to health services for the population at large. The joint work between the public and private sectors is a necessary step in improving health-related practices, with each sector playing a unique role that enables their development.
The report reflects the views from different international bodies, such as the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC), the Pan-American Health Organization (PAHO), the United Nations Program for Development (UNDP), the World Health Organization (WHO) and the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) regarding the implementation of ICTs to enhance health services.


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