Available on: http://www.k4health.org/toolkits/mhealth
What is mHealth? mHealth is the use of mobile technology to support health outcomes. The varied definitions and opportunities of mHealth are evolving rapidly, but they all provide a tool to support your goals: improving health outcomes in developing countries.
Mobile technology is a tool with many uses, which can complement or perhaps transform current methods. The explosive growth of mobile phones in the developing world provides new opportunities for the design, management and measurement of health programs. The expanding adoption of mobile phones can facilitate scale-up of mHealth in health programs. Wide adoption also implies that mobile phones are culturally-appropriate technology.
Programs in mHealth can leverage the tens of billions of dollars invested in mobile phone markets in developing countries. In this regard, mobile phone companies and consumers have done much of the difficult work for mHealth, providing the necessary infrastructure, adoption, and informal training on popular devices. More advanced mobile devices and programming also offer technological transfer to build local capacity.
However, mobile technologies were not originally developed or purchased as health tools. Their fit with health programs is not widely understood. The evidence base for mHealth is new, and is very limited in developing countries.
The mHealth Toolkit provides knowledge management to clarify the opportunities and uncertainties of this rapidly evolving field. Selected resources are presented to suggest promising approaches for the high potential of mHealth.