Mobile technologies have an almost universal reach that can be converted into better access to health services and stronger health systems.

Mobile technologies, digital communications, and social media are powerful tools that can be used to prevent NCDs by creating networks for health access and giving patients and doctors new tools for prevention and treatment. Prominently, mobile health (mHealth) initiatives that use mobile phones to gather and deliver health information have significant potential in this field.

The potential scale of this opportunity is vast, as globally there are almost as many mobile phone subscriptions as there are people. This almost universal access contributes to some of the greatest benefits of mHealth solutions: they are cost-effective and have a wide geographical and social range.


Initiatives are already being deployed around the world for a great variety of purposes. These include delivering health promotion messages regarding NCD risk factors, identifying counterfeit medicines, surveying populations, nudging individuals to rethink unhealthy behaviors, and helping to implement national NCD policies. Moreover, the relative novelty of the mHealth approach, combined with the almost universal reach of the technology, fosters innovation that can be tailored to meet both mass markets and specific needs. Notably, new sensors and technologies capable of conducting, storing, transmitting, and evaluating diagnostic tests through mobile phones are an area of rapid development.

Combined with the advent of big data, these technologies are likely to generate novel applications in the future, potentially showing great relevance to the challenge of efficiently managing medical records and creating more transparent and patient-centered healthcare. Coupled with accelerating rates of high-speed network coverage and rapidly decreasing hardware costs, mHealth approaches to combatting NCDs are becoming uniquely positioned to provide life-saving information and services to all.

Survey Findings

The market opportunity of Combatting NCDs with Mobile Technologies gets mixed assessments from the survey respondents. On the one hand, when assessed across all regions for its potential positive impact on society, the market is not rated highly. On the other, the market opportunity performs very strongly on the same criteria in China and India.

However, respondents from across business sectors are less optimistic on the market opportunity’s potential positive impact on business. They also show less positive interest in pursuing new business ventures inspired by this opportunity.

When asked about the timeliness of this opportunity there is a worldwide agreement that it will not reach full potential in the near future. However, respondents from India sees this opportunity to be closer to maturity.

This market was surveyed globally in 2014 by more than 5500 leaders from both the public and private sectors. The survey was conducted in collaboration with the research company YouGov. The survey results were originally published in the Global Opportunity Report 2015.

Global Goals addressed

Market Details

Market Size in US$, 2022: 102 bn
Growth Rate (CAGR), 2016-2022: 32%