Perspective

Prioritizing integrated mHealth strategies for universal health coverage

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Science  12 Sep 2014:
Vol. 345, Issue 6202, pp. 1284-1287
DOI: 10.1126/science.1258926
Fig. 2 A cascading model to prioritize and select integrated mHealth strategies for achieving UHC [adapted from (7) and (9)].

This framework shows how eight key ingredients are required before a target population (a subset of the total population at the bottom of the cascade) can all receive the quality, timely, and adequate care they need. These components of health system performance are grouped into categories of accountability, supply, demand, quality, and cost. As illustrated, each layer not only builds on the performance of the layer below it but also falls short (dotted lines) of the optimal, desired level. A suite of mHealth strategies (labeled A through H) exists that could contribute to efforts in strengthening any given category. This framework helps facilitate dialogue between mHealth innovators and health system policy-makers to strategically plan how independently developed solutions can work in an integrated approach to addressing health system challenges across numerous layers.