What is ‘mHealth’ research and why is it important?
- Mobile health or ‘mHealth’ describes the use of mobile technology, like phones, tablets, and apps, to provide health care.
- mHealth is useful in any setting but especially has the potential to expand access to healthcare services in rural or remote areas, improving patient outcomes.
- mHealth can be used to collect patient data for research and allow providers and patients to communicate easily.
Helpful Links, Videos and Online Courses
- Introduction to mHealth: How to approach mHealth
- A comprehensive guide for understanding the strengths and limitations of mHealth, mHealth research, and how to implement in practice.
- Global Strategy on Digital Health 2020-2025
- A 36-page PDF from the World Health Organization (WHO) defining the goals, vision, and steps for expanding the reach and efficacy of mobile health technology in a global context.
- Tipping Point of Telemedicine and mHealth
- TedTalk by Radhika Chigurupati with useful examples of mHealth research and practices that have been implemented with a focus on LMICs.
- Introduction to Mobile Health Technologies
- Overview with helpful examples of types of technologies involved in mHealth.
- Designing mHealth Studies in Low and Middle-Income Countries
- This video from the UICC World Cancer Congress discusses key principles and ‘lessons learned’ about conducting mHealth research in LMICs.
- mHealth Basics: Introduction to Mobile Technology for Health | Global Health eLearning Center
- Note: You must create an online account using an email address to access this free course.
- Introduction to mHealth Online Training Course and mHealth at the NIH
- Online training course detailing mHealth research, provided by the NIH.
Templates and Examples
- Introduction to Mobile Health Tools to Support Ebola Surveillance and Contact Tracing in Guinea
- This article describes an example of using mHealth in Guinea to control Ebola.
- Planning an Information Systems Project: A Toolkit for Public Health Managers
- This resource guides project planners through important steps and considerations for mHealth projects, from defining project goals all the way to implementation plans.
- Health Information Systems Interoperability Maturity Toolkit — MEASURE Evaluation
- This toolkit from the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) aims to increase interoperability and standardization of mHealth interventions, increasing access for policymakers and researchers.
- The toolkit involves three components: a model, an assessment tool, and a user’s guide.
- Monitoring and Evaluating Digital Health Interventions
- The WHO published a step-by-step guide for researchers to monitor and evaluate their mHealth projects.
- To access the guide, fill out the Google Form that is linked on the webpage under “Downloads.”
- The MAPS Toolkit
- The mHealth Assessment and Planning for Scale (MAPS) Toolkit from the WHO provides guidance for researchers to scale up existing mHealth projects.
- To access the MAPS Toolkit, fill out the Google Form that is linked on the webpage under “Downloads.”
- Agarwal, S., LeFevre, A. E., Lee, J., L’Engle, K., Mehl, G., Sinha, C., & Labrique, A. (2016). Guidelines for reporting of health interventions using mobile phones: Mobile health (mHealth) evidence reporting and assessment (mERA) checklist. BMJ 352, i1174
- Chib, A., van Velthoven, M. H., & Car, J. (2015). mHealth adoption in low-resource environments: A review of the use of mobile healthcare in developing countries. Journal of Health Communication, 20(1), 4-34.
- Global Digital Health Index. (2019). Global Digital Health Index. Retrieved April 23, 2021, from https://www.digitalhealthindex.org/
- This interactive website from the Global Digital Health Index allows users to explore the implementation and spread of mHealth technology globally.
- Kruse, C., Betancourt, J., Ortiz, S., Luna, S. M. V., Bamrah, I. K., & Segovia, N. (2019). Barriers to the use of mobile health in improving health outcomes in developing countries: Systematic review. Journal of Medical Internet Research, 21(10), e13263.
- Labrique, A., Agarwal, S., Tamrat, T. & Mehl, G.(2020)WHO Digital Health Guidelines: A milestone for global health. npj Digital Medicine (3),120.
- Lewis, J., Ray, P., & Liaw, S.-T. (2016). Recent worldwide developments in eHealth and mHealth to more effectively manage cancer and other chronic diseases: A systematic review. Yearbook of Medical Informatics, 93-108.
- World Health Organization. (2019). WHO guideline: Recommendations on digital interventions for health system strengthening. Geneva: World Health Organization. License: CC BY-NC-SA 3.0 IGO.