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Why is mHealth an important issue for China?

The World Health Organization projects chronic diseases such as heart disease, stroke and diabetes to account for 79 percent of all deaths in China by 2015 and an estimated $558 million in losses to national income from 2005 to 2015.  Facing such a great burden from chronic diseases, the health care system in China can benefit greatly from technology innovation in health care, which can help address issues such as high population growth, increasing prevalence and mortality of non-communicable diseases, increasing training for the health care workforce, and serving large numbers of rural inhabitants.

*The Global Burden of Disease Report 2010 highlighted the top three leading causes of premature death in China are stroke, ischemic heart disease, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. Other leading causes of disease burden that the Center will target include diabetes, kidney disease and cancer. Many of the risk factors for these conditions are shared and so rather than a disease-specific approach, the Center will take an integrated health systems approach to addressing these diseases.

By 2020, there will be an estimated 1.2 billion users of 3G and 4G mobile technology in China – four times the current number, this represents an unprecedented opportunity to reach people with health care services.

The Chinese government’s 12th Five Year Plan prioritizes the development of affordable, accessible health care for China’s entire population. Wide-scale use of mobile technology in health care aligns with the government’s objectives for health care reform.

*WHO statement of Global Burden of Disease 2010 study

WHO news release of Global Burden of Disease 2010 study

Source: “Shang Bing explains the strategic thinking behind MIIT’s “Broadband China” policy [尚冰接受中国政府网在线访谈 系统阐述工信部推进“宽带中国”战略的思路],” Ministry of Industry and Information Technology [工业和信息化部], September 22, 2013,