Despite the strong promise demonstrated by mHealth tools and applications, the current land¬scape of mHealth development in developing country contexts is characterized by a proliferation of unsustainable pilot projects that often expire once initial funding is exhausted. For example, in Uganda alone there were 23 mHealth initiatives in 2008 and 2009 that did not scale up after the pilot phase. In India, there were over 30 mHealth initiatives in 2009 that did not go beyond the pilot phase.
The scale up of mHealth within national health agendas should be supported by all departments within the Ministry of Health and across other relevant ministries and agencies including Telecommunications. Both internal stakeholders, such as end-users and beneficiaries, and external stakeholders, such as mobile network operators and donors, should be engaged in the planning and business model design and scalability assessments. The primary goal of this white paper is to provide evidence and recommendations that will allow mHealth initiatives to better plan their own scale up beyond successful pilot phases.