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Gesundheitswesen. 2017 Dec;79(12):1012-1018. doi: 10.1055/s-0041-110677. Epub 2015 Dec 22.

[Mobile Health Units: An Analysis of Concepts and Implementation Requirements in Rural Regions.]

[Article in German; Abstract available in German from the publisher]

Author information

Fakultät für Gesundheitswissenschaften, Universität Bielefeld, Bielefeld.
Contributed equally


in English, German


Access to health services in rural regions represents a challenge. The development of care models that respond to health service shortages and pay particular attention to the increasing health care needs of the elderly is an important concern. A model that has been implemented in other countries is that of mobile health units. But until now, there is no overview of their possible objectives, functions and implementation requirements.


This paper is based on a literature analysis and an internet research on mobile health units in rural regions.


Mobile health units aim to avoid regional undersupply and address particularly vulnerable population groups. In the literature, mobile health units are described with a focus on specific illnesses, as well as those that provide comprehensive, partly multi-professional primary care that is close to patients' homes. The implementation of mobile health units is demanding; the key challenges are (a) alignment to the needs of the regional population, (b) user-oriented access and promotion of awareness and acceptance of mobile health units by the local population, and (c) network building within existing care structures to ensure continuity of care for patients. To fulfill these requirements, a community-oriented program development and implementation is important.


Mobile health units could represent an interesting model for the provision of health care in rural regions in Germany. International experiences are an important starting point and should be taken into account for the further development of models in Germany.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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