Vodafone claims that the new report, ‘The Role of Mobile Phones in Increasing Accessibility and Efficiency in Healthcare’, represents the first systematic review of mobile technology’s contribution to healthcare. Among the most drastic savings, with a relatively simple deployment, are various SMS services for patients.
The report claims that the NHS in England could save £240-370m (about €348-537m) by introducing SMS appointment reminders for patients. Patients with special needs – namely those with diabetes and tuberculosis – can also be served by SMS support systems. The report estimates that an SMS support system for tuberculosis patients could save up to £1.9m (€2.76m) per 1000 patients and improve patients’ overall well-being.
With mobile penetration above 100 per cent in the UK, Vodafone feels that the technology can be leveraged to transform health services and other industries.
The report is based on new research by Imperial College's Tanaka Business School in association with NHS Direct, the University of Dundee and the Office of Health Economics Consulting.