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Mobile health applications for disease screening and treatment support in low-and middle-income countries: A narrative review
The advances in mobile technologies and applications are driving the transformation in health services delivery globally. Mobile phone penetration is increasing exponentially in low-and middle-income countries, hence using mobile phones for healthcare services could reach more people in resource-limited settings than the traditional forms of healthcare provision. The review presents recent literature on facilitators and barriers of implementing mHealth for disease screening and treatment support in low-and middle-income countries. We searched for relevant literature from the following electronic databases: MEDLINE; CINAHL with full text via EBSCOhost; Science Direct; PubMed; Google Scholar and Web of Science using the keywords for relevant studies. We searched for published studies from 2015 to August 2020 with no language limitations. A total of 721 articles identified, 125 articles met the inclusion criteria and were included in the qualitative synthesis. The review demonstrates relevant facilitators for the implementation of mHealth, which includes knowledge, attitudes, and perceptions of stakeholders on the use of mHealth and the performance of mHealth for disease diagnosis in low and-middle-income countries. Barriers and challenges hindering the implementation of mHealth applications were also identified. We proposed a framework for improving the implementation of mHealth for disease screening and treatment support in low-and middle-income countries.
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