Solving a Global Problem: mHealth for Chronic Diseases

Highlights from the mHealth session at GSMA Mobile World Congress called “Solving a Global Problem: mHealth for Chronic Diseases”:

  • Sameer Pujari of the World Health Organization (WHO) and Hani Eskander of the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) present their recent partnership and new initiative, mHealth for Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs). More on this new partnership below!
Hani Eskander of the ITU speaking on the ITU-WHO partnership at the session on mHealth for chronic diseases.

Hani Eskander, ITU speaking on the ITU-WHO partnership.

  • Diabetes Director of the GSMA – Michael Curran – describes how “mobile Health solutions could save 400 billion from healthcare bills in developed countries in 2017,” and the challenges that lie ahead.



ITU-WHO Mobile Health for NCDs Initiative

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This initiative is a ground breaking new partnership between ITU and WHO focusing on the use of mobile technology to improve non-communicable diseases (NCDs) prevention and treatment. It 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.

mHealth-mobilephoneThe 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 developed for running mHealth NCDs intervention package to support more traditional NCDs prevention and control work. Mobile solutions will be primarily sms or apps based and will include a range of services including 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.

Visit the ITU-WHO partnership website for more information on this groundbreaking initiative.


Connected Living Seminar Series – Solving a global problem: mHealth for chronic diseases

About this Seminar:

Thursday 28 February, 11:00 – 12:15

There is growing recognition that non-communicable diseases (NCDs) dominate health care needs and expenditure in all developed and most low and middle-income countries. NCDs (heart diseases, strokes, cancers, diabetes, and chronic lung disease) cause an estimated 36 million deaths every year, including 9 million people dying prematurely before the age of 60. This seminar will be led by a panel which will include expert representatives from government, international organizations, and the public and private sectors. Discussions will focus on: How mobile solutions can be used for NCD prevention, treatment and enforcement of policies, with case studies; how mHealth for NCDs can harness the best technology and expertise available in the world and make it available to all countries to fight NCDs; how successful pilots can be taken to the world stage through a global UN, private sector and government partnership.

Moderator: Sameer Pujari – mHealth Technical Officer, WHO.

Speakers: Hani Eskandar, Leader of ITC Applications, ITU. Michael Curran, Diabetes Director, GSMA. Dr Oliver Harrison, Head of Strategy, Health Authority Abu Dhabi. Dr Caroline Free, Senior Lecturer, London School of Hygiene. H.E. Miss Sylvia Poll, Ambassador, Deputy Permanent Representative of Costa Rica to the UN.

The other upcoming mobile health (mHealth) sessions at the GSMA Mobile World Congress are part of the Connected Living Seminar Series. To find out more, view the Connected Living Guide (PDF). Here is a list of key upcoming mHealth sessions taking place today at the MWC, in Hall 1, Level 1, Room C1.1:

  • Connected Living – End user needs for successful mHealth solutions: 12:30 – 13:30
  • Introducing the Mobile World Capital mHealth Competence Center: 13:45 – 14:45
  • Government Activity in mHealth and Opportunities for Mobile: 15:00 – 16:00

Winners at the Mobile World Congress

Several challenges and competitions were held to identify the best mobile apps, designs and more, with the winners being announced during the Mobile World Congress. Here is a summary of the awards, winners and their work.


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The objective of the GSMA mWomen Design Challenge was to Redefine the User Experience to meet the needs of resource-poor women by improving the smartphone user experience.

Designers, programmers and innovators of all kinds were invited to consider the user experience of resource-poor women to reimagine a smartphone’s core user interface to be more intuitive and accessible. The more a woman can use her phone, the more value she’ll be able to realize from the pre-installed apps, widgets, and other functionality that can enhance her and her family’s lives.

The winners and finalists include:

Grand Prize Winner: Sahel Shake 

homescreen-bigSahel Shake seeks to alleviate barriers to mobile phone ownership and use for women in low and middle income markets. A phone without battery charge or airtime, far from available top up credit is not only useless, it undermines the value proposition of mobile ownership by reducing confidence in the technology and mobile network operator. Sahel Shake gives women control over their phone resources, providing prominent airtime and battery management widgets along with cost-conscious phone sharing and emergency SMS features.

Second Prize Winner: mpower

HomeScreen-smallmpower was designed by York Sheridan Design Program. It’s aim was to humanize the user experience while providing powerful information.

“I wanted to create a bond of trust between the user and the concept of ‘technology’. This idea involved trying to prolong battery life with a darker screen and presenting all key information whenever needed using a consistent bar of icons. The interface had to be both realiable and useful, so that that user becomes comfortable with a smartphone.”

There are more finalists to be discovered here.



The Mobile Premier Awards is the largest cross-platform app showcase in the mobile industry, providing a point of reference for the startup and app community during the Mobile World Congress. The 7th edition of the Mobile Premier Awards took place in Barcelona on February 25th 2013 and featured winning apps from Appcircus events and challenges from 2012.

The MPA2013 Winner is… Atooma!

Screen Shot 2013-02-27 at 2.04.51 PMAtooma offers complete control over your Android phone, and gives you a wonderfully simple interface to program activities that you do manually, like switching to Wi-Fi when you get home, silencing notifications when you get to the office, or even read incoming SMS messages aloud when you’re driving. No matter what needs to be done – Atooma is there to automate it all. Atooma allows your smartphone to perform actions when certain conditions are fulfilled. Shape your phone for your everyday life. You can set up conditional events (IF) that automatically trigger simple actions (DO), based on things like time of day, location, your favourite apps, email, battery levels and much more.



The GSMA’s Global Mobile Awards offer organisations across the global mobile eco-system (including all converging vertical sectors) the opportunity to showcase the latest and best mobile products, apps, services and initiatives to the world. Many interesting categories were created for this year’s Global Mobile Awards. Some of the winners that caught our eye were…

Best Mobile Innovation for ‘Smart Cities’

Streetline for Parker

Parker-Reservations3.01-379x730Telefónica and Streetline’s smart parking solution features vehicle detection sensors, networks, and real-time applications for cities and motorists. Parker™ by Streetline aims to make the idea of searching for parking a thing of the past. The app features real time parking availability via Streetline’s vehicle detection sensors, as well as parking locations,

hours, rates, mobile payments, and searching by a point of interest or a particular kind of space such as electric vehicle charging stations. Parker is currently

supported on smartphones, compatible tablets, the web, and soon will be featured in in-car navigation systems.


“Smart parking is a good example of how new services are evolving for cities based on sensor technologies and mobile communications. This innovative application addresses a complex area and allows for interesting new business models”

GSMA mWomen Best Mobile Product or Service for Women in Emerging Markets

Asiacell for Almas Line

almas_logo_english“Almas Line” is the name of the offer by Asiacell (Iraq’s second largest operator) conceived for, and sold exclusively to, Iraqi women. It consists of a SIM embedded with specifically designed features addressing the main barriers to women mobile usage in Iraq (price, harassment, cultural issues, concerns with technology, and technical illiteracy). Results have been spectacular: Asiacell now has 3.5 million female subscribers, half of which have joined since the launch of Almas line. Put differently, since Almas was launched Asiacell has acquired as many women subscribers as it had acquired in its first 11 years of operations!


“Very smart, well thought out approach with measurable large scale impact directly to women. The idea of marketing the SIM as a premier line is brilliant. Appeals to deep traditional values, aspirational but not elitist”

Find out more about all the winners on winners announcement website.

Barcelona: first Mobile World Capital


In the summer of 2011, GSMA selected Barcelona as the world’s first Mobile World Capital from 2012 to 2018. The aim of the Mobile World Capital is to radically accelerate the global growth of mobile. From now on, Barcelona is the world’s capital of mobile, successfully leading companies to take advantage of mobile technology´s limitless opportunity.

The Capital is comprised of four unique channels:

  • Mobile World Congress
  • Mobile World Hub
  • Mobile World Centre
  • Mobile World Festival Series

Find out more below.

UPDATE: In exciting news, Mobile World Capital has just announced the launch of Mobile World Lab. More info below!

Mobile World Congress


The GSMA Mobile World Congress (MWC) is globally important B2B event in the telecommunications industry presenting innovative mobile solutions and advances in mobile technology. The MWC is taking place this week, check their website to see what’s happening right now!


Mobile World Hub

The Mobile World Hub is a unique physical B2B centre that incorporates all the capabilities and infrastructures associated with the development of Mobile World Capital Solutions. It is focused on the design and management of key projects that will transform the world’s mobile economy.

The Hub will be the headquarters of the Mobile World Capital, as well as GSMA in Barcelona. There will also be space for other companies to room, and it will host the Capabilities and Solutions working teams. The MWHub will be located in the MediaTIC building, in Barcelona’s 22@ technological district. Estimated opening will be during the second quarter of 2013.

The industrial program has already been initiated with the Mobile Health Competence Center. Two workshops have already been celebrated with over 40 participants from the medical environment (including operators, institutions, medical services, privacy services and technology manufacturers), and two working lines have been launched to find solutions concerning the Personal Health Folder internationalization and portability. Soon the next events of mHealth will be announced, as well as the launch of other Competence Centers.


Mobile World Centre


The Mobile World Centre is Mobile World Capital’s permanent exhibition & venue, to spread and demonstrate the latest mobile technologies and solutions to citizens.

The Mobile World Capital Foundation & Telefonica have worked hand in hand to create this unique, open platform called Mobile World Centre; a state of the art exhibition showroom where citizens are able to understand and experience how mobile is enhancing our lives. The Centre brings mobile technology closer to all citizens.

The Centre, located in the heart of Barcelona, on Plaza Catalunya 16, is open to the public Monday through Saturday from 10:00 – 21:30. To find out more, visit their website.


Mobile World Capital Festival Series


The Mobile World Festival Series invites citizens to celebrate the mobile lifestyle through a series of creative leisure and entertainment events, including sport competitions, art exhibitions, concerts etc. It is a series of events to promote and spread mobile usage to all age citizens.

The first public collaboration is the new Phonetastic, a new international movie contest for films created or edited using mobile devices, in collaboration with the Sitges International Fantastic Film Festival of Catalonia. Another collaboration has been announced with Sonar Festival, to create the Sonar+D in June 2013, featuring workshops and hackathons, interactive installations, product demos and presentations, services and entrepreneurial initiatives in the field of creativity, technology and music. – See more at:


Mobile World Lab (just launched!)

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The Mobile World Lab is an international laboratory dedicated to the testing and validation of mobility solutions in test beds and live environments. The Lab brings together technological centers of excellence, universities and the City of Barcelona to create the largest and most complex mobility testing scenario, covering all areas of transport, access, terminals and applications, with a special focus on live users and environments.

The Mobile World Lab is created through a partnership and power by Mobile World Capital. To find out more, download their PDF presentation or visit the Mobile World Lab website.



Pickbe – An example of Mobile World Capital Solutions

A great example of what the Mobile World Capital is looking to promote is the mobile commerce solution developed by Pickbe.


Pickbe is a start-up based in Barcelona whose mission is to boost mobile commerce by bringing products of the user’s interests closer. They’ve kicked off by setting up virtual shops in Barcelona’s main subway stations that allow commuters to do their daily shopping. Pickbe uses digital format stores as point of sales and smartphones as the purchasing tool to acquire products, services and coupons from online leading brands. Commuters in stations with Pickbe Stores (around 100.000 passengers per day) will be able to buy all sorts of goods just downloading the Pickbe app for free and scanning the QR codes placed on the products.



Relevant websites:

Founding partners of Mobile World Capital:

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(Images via Mobile World Capital website)

GSMA mWomen Seminar at MWC — Increasing Women’s Access to Mobile Phones in Emerging Markets


Today from 12:00-15:00 at the Mobile World Congress, the GSMA mWomen Programme will host a seminar on Mobile Women called ‘Unlocking the Potential’. The panel discussion will emphasize how women in developing countries can play a greater role in mobile financial services and explore the critical role women play in household financial management, including panelists:

  • Dr. Maura O’Neill, Chief Innovation Officer, U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID)
  • Cherie Blair, Founder, Cherie Blair Foundation
  • Dr. Nasser Marafih, CEO, Qtel Group
  • and others…

The winners of the GSMA mWomen Design Challenge, launched by USAID, GSMA, AusAID and Qtel Group at the Social Good Summit in September 2012, will also be announced at the Seminar. The objective of the Design Challenge is to meet the needs of resource-poor women in emerging markets by redesigning and improving the smartphone user experience. In addition, a new study will be released called “Unlocking the Potential: Women and Mobile Financial Services in Emerging Markets.

“Co-hosted by Visa Inc. and Qtel Group, this event features opportunities for achieving commercial and social objectives by meeting women’s needs for mobile. The keynote session, introduced by Cherie Blair, Founder, Cherie Blair Foundation for Women, focuses on opportunities for industry to serve the women’s market with mobile financial services, thereby helping to increase women’s financial inclusion in emerging markets.  Visa and GSMA mWomen will release new research by Bankable Frontier Associates on women’s wants and needs for mobile financial services.   We’ll also discuss the power of mobile user experience design for women and announce the winners of the GSMA mWomen Design Challenge, sponsored by Qtel Group in partnership with USAID and AusAID.  Finally, we’ll share mobile industry partners’ experiences serving women to create commercial and social value.”

A networking lunch, sponsored by Visa, will be offered to attendees of the event, which is open to all MWC pass-holders.

While registration to Elisa Minischetti at: is required, this event is open to the public, so if you’d like to invite colleagues, please feel free.

Our Jordi Serrano Pons will be there to discuss UniversalWomen Speaker and UniversalWomen Project. We hope to see you there!

UniversalWomen Speaker

Our UniversalWomen Speaker tool, part of the UniversalWomen Project, will facilitate multilingual communication between women and any healthcare personnel during pregnancy, childbirth and other maternal and women’s health issues. Whether you are traveling or working abroad, UniversalWomen aims to support any woman in need throughout the world.

For more info:

Partnership Launched for UniversalWomen Speaker

GSMA mWomen Seminar: Unlocking the Potential – 26 February, Mobile World Congress, 12:00 to 15:00, Room CC1-1.5

Update 12:16 CET – PICTURES!

Pictures from the live event, thanks to Jordi:

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Cherie Blair speaking at the GSMA mWomen Seminar at the MWC


The GSMA mWomen Programme aims to increase women’s access to and use of mobile phones and life-enhancing mobile services in developing markets. Launched by U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton in October 2010, the GSMA mWomen Global Development Alliance is a programme in partnership with USAID, AusAID, GSMA and Visa.

GSMA mWomen’s objectives are to:

  • Encourage industry to serve resource-poor women
  • Increase availability of life-enhancing value-added services
  • Promote solutions to women’s barriers to usage.

The programme aims to achieve these objectives by working with mobile operators, value-added service providers, and other mobile industry members, as well as non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and other international development partners.

Visit each partner below:

mwomen_logo             qtel  us-aid aus-aidCBFW-logo

Telefonica Announcement — Live from the Mobile World Congress

UniversalDoctor is at the 2013 Mobile World Congress this week, bringing you exciting live updates from MWC as they come through. Stay tuned!


Telefónica today announced the first countries in which it will launch Firefox OS — the new, open mobile operating system from Mozilla which will power the world’s first Open Web Devices. The first commercial handsets featuring Firefox OS will go on sale in Brazil, Colombia, Spain and Venezuela in mid-2013. Further launches are planned in both Europe and Latin America in late 2013 and 2014. The first Firefox OS handsets to launch in these initial markets will be manufactured by Alcatel One Touch, LG and ZTE.

“Firefox OS marks a significant milestone for the mobile industry, enabling for the first time devices to be manufactured to totally open web standards. It provides an alternative to current, closed mobile ecosystems that lock consumers in.

pic-for-mozilla-front-page-leadFirefox OS brings the freedom and unbounded innovation of the open Web to the mobile environment, removing the unnecessary restrictions of proprietary ecosystems,” said Gary Kovacs, CEO, Mozilla. “Telefónica has shared this vision from the very start of the Firefox OS project. They have been instrumental in making Firefox OS a reality and we look forward to bringing a new and exciting smartphone experience to their customers globally.”

Customers will benefit from everything they need from a smartphone out of the box, plus many added features including built-in cost controls, Facebook and Twitter integration, location-based services, the much-loved Firefox Web browser and a revolutionary new search capability. This delivers a deep and contextual search that allows customers to search both within apps and on the web at the same time. For example, search for a music artist and get results to buy songs, concert tickets or even listen to them instantly without the need to install any apps.

Telefonica, which put its weight behind the Mozilla platform at GSMA Mobile World Congress last year, will be among the first operators to support Firefox OS, with the intention of making it available to “all Telefonica customers globally”.

To find out more, see the important links below:

Gallery of devices with Firefox OS:

FxOS_device_Front1 ZTE-Open-blue1


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What is Aplicateca? Telefónica partnered with NEC Corporation to create a platform of cloud-based applications aimed at providing business services to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). This platform, known as the Aplicateca marketplace, will provide Telefónica’s SME customers with business services such as human resources, billing, logistics and fleet management, through a collection of cloud-based applications that can be accessed from a single source through a monthly subscription.

To find out more about Telefónica and Aplicateca, watch the excellent video below:

In español:

Guía Rápida di Aplicateca


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Telefónica is also at the GSMA’s Mobile World Congress (MWC). Check out their microsite dedicated to MWC: Telefónica | MWC 2013.

Follow Telefónica:

Telefónica Twitter updates from the Mobile World Congress: @TelefonicaMWC

Telefónica Latest News


About Telefónica:


Telefónica is one of the world’s leading integrated telecommunications operators, providing communication, information and entertainment solutions, with presence in 24 countries and 314 million customers. Additionally, it has over 850 million combined customers around the world through its strategic and industrial alliances with China Unicom and Telecom Italia.

UniversalDoctor — Live from the Mobile World Congress!

Today UniversalDoctor is on site at the 2013 Mobile World Congress (MWC). We will be sharing live updates from the MWC via dynamic blog posts. Check back often for news and updates.

Scroll down for news on our special promotion for UniversalDoctor Speaker in honor of MWC…


What is the GSMA Mobile World Congress (MWC)?

It’s one of the most important mobile industry events showcasing all different kinds of mobile technology advancements, including new mobile products and services. This year it is attended by over 70,000 people from 200+ countries, displaying technology advancements from 1,500 exhibitors. It runs from February 25-28th in the Fira Gran Via in Barcelona, Spain.

Major News & Updates from MWC (continuously updates throughout the day):

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Over the course of the MWC, many will discover UniversalDoctor Speaker — a suite of enterprise, web and mobile applications built for hospitals, health care professionals and patients to overcome language barriers when delivering or receiving treatment and care. UniversalDoctor Speaker facilitates health care communication across languages by offering thousands of medical questions and answers with audio files translated into over 15 languages. All of our medical translations have been reviewed by different medical translation specialists and a medical association.

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***Special Promotion***

UniversalDoctor Speaker for iPhone/iPad is only 0.99c for a limited time! We want everyone at MWC to try out our mobile application, which offers an offline mobile medical translator in 11 languages, ideal for travelers and patients as it translates medical conditions, symptoms, allergies, prescriptions, diagnoses, treatment options and more.

More than 150,000 people around the world have already downloaded UniversalDoctor Speaker, making it one of the top 10 medical apps in the US for several weeks. Over 50 hospitals across Europe are also using our UniversalDoctor Speaker technology to communicate better with their patients.

UniversalDoctor enters the MWC…

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