Posted March 03, 2020 13:06:30A new study shows that while the health of people living in countries where technology has grown rapidly is improving, the health problems are still being exacerbated by technology-induced health issues, particularly in the developing world.
Researchers from Oxford University in the UK used data from a global survey of health care professionals, the Global Health Survey, to examine trends in health care access, diagnosis and treatment across 34 countries.
They found that people in countries with a higher proportion of mobile phones were at higher risk of developing certain chronic diseases than people living elsewhere.
They found that in the first decade of mobile phone technology adoption, the prevalence of chronic diseases such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease and hypertension among people living with mobile phones doubled.
The researchers then compared these findings with the data for countries with lower mobile phone adoption and found that the health and wellbeing of people in developing countries was worse.
“There is evidence from previous studies that mobile phones have a major impact on the quality of care in developing nations and the implications for people living there,” said study author Dr Simon Jansson, a lecturer in health systems at Oxford University.
“This research shows that people living on the edge of the developed world with mobile phone use may be particularly vulnerable to these health impacts.”‘
Healthy’ health care is still being compromisedThe researchers examined trends in healthcare access across countries over a period of about a decade and compared these with those of the same countries with no mobile phone penetration.
They then compared the prevalence and trends in disease outcomes across the three countries.
“Mobile phones are becoming ubiquitous in many developing countries, and this is having a huge impact on their health and well-being,” said Jansson.
“Health professionals are struggling to adapt to this change, and there is a huge disconnect between the way we treat people with chronic diseases and how we treat those who are not as ill.”
In the United States, for example, there were more than three times as many mobile phone users in the population as people living within 10 kilometres of the nearest major urban centre.
But this did not necessarily mean that people with mobile-phone use were being more sick.
In countries where mobile phones are prevalent, the researchers found, people with high blood pressure, diabetes and other chronic conditions were at greater risk of suffering from these conditions, even when they were living in relatively healthy areas.
“Our findings suggest that, in general, it is important to take care of those who need it the most,” said Dr Jansson’s co-author Dr Laura Loh, who also worked at Oxford.
“While the prevalence in developed countries is very high, the number of mobile users is increasing very rapidly.”‘
I had to find a way to survive’: A woman in the Middle East who is now in remission from her conditionSource: Al JazeeraEnglish storyThe study found that mobile phone-enabled infections and deaths were increasing in developing areas with high prevalence of mobile-phones.
In the Middle Eastern country of Jordan, the study found the death rate from all causes was 1,500 per 100,000 population.
In India, the report found the number had increased from one person dying every two days in 2008 to one every five days in 2012.
“It is hard to pinpoint exactly what causes this, but the rise of mobile is linked to a rise in drug-resistant infections,” said Loh.
In a report published in the journal Health Services Research, Loh said that the rapid rise in mobile phones, as well as the rise in HIV infection and other STDs, was leading to an overuse of healthcare resources, such as dialysis and dialysis-related tests.
“The rising use of mobile devices has led to increased reliance on healthcare resources for diagnosis and monitoring of the most serious chronic diseases,” said the study.
“In many developing nations, the availability of such services is limited, which leads to the emergence of new forms of chronic disease that are increasingly difficult to treat.”‘
Mobile is a killer’: A patient with HIV in India dies from complications from mobile phone usage article”It has led us to the conclusion that we need to adapt our care to the changing conditions that mobile provides,” said one of the co-authors, Dr Loh who is also from Oxford.
This adaptation will require changes to our practices, she said.
In China, for instance, a study published last month in the Lancet showed that mobile users were at increased risk of contracting HIV, particularly during the summer.
The study analysed mobile phone data from 6,000 mobile phone owners across China.
In all, the data showed that people using mobile phones had a higher risk for HIV, which was higher than the general population.
But the study also found that even people with higher mobile phone numbers were still at increased risks of contracting the disease.
“Some of the people in our study had mobile phones of between one and four years old,” said co-researcher Dr