Use of Mobile Technology to Improve NCDs Prevention and Treatment

ITU and WHO, the UN information and communication technologies (ICTs) and health agencies​, have come together in a ground breaking new partnership to focus on the use of mobile technology to improve NCDs prevention and treatment. This partnership aims to contribute to global and national efforts to save lives, minimize illness and disability, and reduce the social and economic burden due to NCDs.

Be He@lthy, Be Mobile

A number of countries are already using mobile technology to deliver health promotion messages on the NCD risk factors, to survey the epidemic, to persuade users to change unhealthy behaviours and to help countries implement national laws on NCDs. This initiative builds on these successful pilots and scales them up in other countries. The WHO will provide the technical assistance and the ITU will help implement country projects through government partnerships with the support from the private sector.

The initiative, in its initial 4-year period, will scale up mobile technology in eight priority countries, at least one in each region, for NCDs prevention, treatment and policy enforcement. Activities will be two-fold: mHealth operational projects will be implemented within countries, and standard operating procedures will be developed for running mHealth NCDs intervention package to support more traditional NCDs prevention and control work. Specific countries will be able to sponsor and patron the initiative. At the country level implementing agencies will help roll out the operational projects, provide products and technical know-how as well as contribute to the resources.

Mobile solutions will be primarily SMS or apps based and will include a range of services such as mAwareness, mTraining, mBehavioural change, mSurveillance, mTreatment, mDisease management and mScreening building on existing successful pilots and scaling them to a population level. Countries will choose the interventions that best suit their needs. The application areas will be marked across Prevention, Treatment and Enforcement for NCDs, and will grow based on requirements.

The initiative has been so far rolled out in three countries: Costa Rica, where the government has chosen to focus on mobile technology for smoking prevention and helping smokers quit, Senegal and Zambia. There are currently ongoing negotiations with Russia, Norway, UK, Brazil, Philippines, India and other countries.


  • International Federation of Pharmaceutical Manufacturers & Associations (IFPMA)

    Staff size: 6-25

    IFPMA represents the research-based pharmaceutical companies and associations across the globe. The research-based pharmaceutical industry’s 2 million employees discover, develop, and...

  • International Telecommunication Union (ITU)

    Association, Independent/None
    United States | Staff size: Unknown

    ITU is the United Nations specialized agency for information and communication technologies – ICTs. They allocate global radio spectrum and satellite orbits, develop the technical...

  • Verizon

    Service Providers
    United States | Staff size: 10,000+

    Verizon Communications Inc. (Verizon) is a holding company that, acting through its subsidiaries, is one of the world’s leading providers of communications, information and entertainment...

  • World Health Organization (WHO)

    Funding Agencies
    Staff size: 5001-10,000

    WHO (World Health Organisation) is the directing and coordinating authority for health within the United Nations system. It is responsible for providing leadership on global health matters,...

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Key Information

LocationWest Africa, Southern Africa, Zambia, Senegal, Costa Rica, Latin America and Caribbean
  • Start Date 2012
  • End Date 2016
  • Sectors