mHealth Programs

Over 5 billion people now have access to mobile phones, with 445 million subscribers in Sub Sahara Africa, according to GSMA statistics. The appeal of mobile phones is that they allow individuals to contact each other irrespective of time and place. This is particularly beneficial for the delivery of healthcare services in remote areas where mobile communication devices are able to reach more people, faster.

The field of mHealth (or Mobile Health) has emerged in recent years, as largely an application of eHealth for developing countries, driven by the increase in mobile connectivity. mHealth projects operate with a variety of objectives, such as increasing access to healthcare and health-related information; improving the ability to diagnose and track diseases; providing timelier, more actionable public health information; and expanded access to ongoing medical education and training for health workers.

With the availability of low-cost smartphones, the growth of mobile phone networks globally, and the increasing availability of the mobile internet, tens of millions of people that never had regular access to a fixed-line telephone or computers now use mobile devices as daily tools for communication and data transfer. Mobile communication offers an effective means of bringing healthcare services to developing-country citizens.

mHealth Programs will typically aim to achieve some mix of the following:


Awareness

AWARENESS

Programs to raise awareness about a disease

Prevention

PREVENTION

Programs focusing on implementing prevention strategies

Screening

SCREENING

Programs focusing on screening populations for possible disease

Diagnosis

DIAGNOSIS

Programs focusing on getting patients diagnosed earlier

Education

EDUCATION

Programs focusing on educating patients or health workers

Training

TRAINING

Programs focusing on skills training of health care workers

Referral

REFERRAL

Programs focusing on connecting patients with the continuum of care

Treatment

TREATMENT

Programs focusing on getting patients on treatment & improving adherence

Epidemic Tracking

EPIDEMIC TRACKING

Programs to geo-track disease and epidemic outbreaks

M&E

M&E

Monitoring & Evaluation is a key part of any mHealth program

Palliative Care

PALLIATIVE CARE

Programs focusing on providing palliative care and pain relief

Support

SUPPORT

Programs that provide support for health care workers and carers

Multi-Channel

mHealth programs are typically multi-channel solutions made up of some mix of the following channels:


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