Press release 2 July 2013

IFPMA joins ITU and WHO in Be He@lthy, Be Mobile mHealth initiative to reduce the impact of non-communicable diseases (NCDs)



  • Be He@lthy, Be Mobile is a new intersectoral initiative using mobile technology to help prevent and control NCDs.
  • IFPMA partners to contribute knowledge and resources, lessons learned, and technical expertise to develop the best solutions for mHealth interventions for NCDs.
  • IFPMA releases Health at your fingertips, a directory of pharmaceutical companies’ and associations’ mHealth initiatives, to share know-how and ideas for up-scaling projects.

Geneva, 2 July 2013 – The International Federation of Pharmaceutical Manufacturers and Associations (IFPMA) is partnering with the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) on Be He@lthy, Be Mobile, an initiative led jointly by the ITU and WHO.

With non-communicable diseases (NCDs) responsible for over 60% of worldwide deaths and growing quickly in the developing world, Be He@lthy, Be Mobile will leverage mHealth technologies for the prevention and control of NCDs. A partner in global health, IFPMA will cooperate by sharing knowledge and resources, lessons learned, and technical expertise to help develop effective mHealth interventions for NCDs.

Building on the global reach and impact of mobile phones 1

A complex global challenge, NCDs impact high-, middle- and low-income countries. While most high- income countries have integrated NCDs into public health policies for a number of years, significant gaps remain in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs). Of 140 LMICs, only 54 have NCD strategies, 29 have policies addressing one risk factor, and only 14 have policies that address all the main risk factors on the prevention and control of NCDs, IFPMA Director General Eduardo Pisani said, “Mobile phones provide new opportunities for people around the world to take control of their health. mHealth solutions can easily become a normal way for people to learn about risk factors, such as tobacco use, harmful use of alcohol, physical inactivity and unhealthy diet, and to manage their conditions.” 2

Another contribution from IFPMA is . Be He@lthy, Be Mobile can help provide an additional push for high-income countries, while contributing to scaling up of NCD prevention and control programs in LMICs. Costa Rica is one of eight pilot countries that will roll out mHealth NCD programs with the help of Be He@lthy, Be Mobile partners. IFPMA will help develop creative tools to improve health outcomes. Health at your fingertips, a report documenting 37 mHealth initiatives undertaken by pharmaceutical companies and associations: “There are many good ideas and initiatives happening right now in a variety of therapeutic areas and countries. This demonstrates mHealth solutions for NCDs are available, the next step is to work together and bring them to scale,” said Eduardo Pisani.

1 International Telecommunication Union (ITU): Mobiles are the most rapidly adopted technology in the world. Access to mobile networks is now available to 90% of the world’s population. It is foreseen that by the end of 2013, there will be 6.8 billion mobile subscriptions for a world population estimated at 7.1 billion. 6 billion people have access to at least one mobile today. 2 Plos Medicine, “Diet and Physical Activity for the Prevention of Non-communicable Diseases in Low- and Middle-Income Countries: A Systematic Policy Review”, by Carl Lachat, Stephen Otchere, Dominique Roberfroid, Abubakari Abdulai, Florencia Maria Aguirre Seret, Jelena Milesevic, Godfrey Xuereb, Vanessa Candeias, Patrick Kolsteren, 2013. – See more at:


The International Federation of Pharmaceutical Manufacturers and Associations (IFPMA) represents over 90 innovative pharmaceutical companies and associations around the world. Our industry’s almost three million employees discover, develop, and deliver medicines and vaccines that advance global health. Based in Geneva, IFPMA has official relations with the United Nations and contributes industry expertise to help the global health community improve the lives of people everywhere. For more information, visit

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Elliot Dunster