Healthcare at Your Fingertips: Case of mHealth in India.

A mobile phone's capacity to encapsulate the many wonders of technology has amazed humans time and again. Among the many things you can use your mobile phone for, accessing healthcare is one. At present, India does not fare well in terms of access to primary healthcare and has a skewed doctor to patient ratio (skewed in favour of urban over rural and in favour of paid private healthcare over subsidised/free public healthcare). This is exacerbated by heavy out-of-pocket expenditure on health an average Indian has to make every year. Mobile health or mHealth has emerged as a solution to reduce cost of healthcare, improve access and provide a bouquet of choices to consumers of healthcare. This report explores the evolution of mHealth services, analyses the relationship between technology and access to mHealth and discusses factors that affect the usability and acceptability of mHealth among users. India currently stands at a critical policy juncture, where the National Health Authority is actively working towards developing a network-based, interoperable healthcare ecosystem. The report also provides valuable and timely insights about India’s rapidly evolving digital healthcare ecosystem.