Knowledge for Health (K4Health) mHealth Toolkit
"The explosive growth of mobile phones in the developing world provides new opportunities for the design, management and measurement of health programs...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."
K4Health's mHealth Toolkit provides knowledge management to clarify the opportunities and uncertainties of this rapidly evolving field. The toolkit is divided into these areas:
- mHealth Introduction and Overview - The particular circumstances of mobile users also affects how they can be served by mHealth. These issues are covered in resources on mHealth strategy, access, and uses by specific populations.
- Evidence - This section includes links to abstracts of journal articles that share results of robust randomised trials of a number of mHealth projects.
- The mHealth Working Group - This section features meeting links for notes and guest presentations organised by K4Health's mHealth Working Group, which meets regularly to discuss issues, challenges, and lessons learned in the proper development of mHealth.
- Behaviour Change Communication (BCC) - "It may be more difficult to control or even know all the effects of mHealth and BCC on populations." In light of this and other issues, this section offers guides, questions, and resources related to the particular opportunities and challenges of mHealth for BCC.
- Data Collection - Resources include guides on mobile data collection, planning considerations on evidence and lessons learned, and examples and evaluations of mobile data collection organised by type.
- Training Health Care Providers - The resources in this section address mLearning through both mobile phones and smart phones/PDAs [personal data assistants], which can differ significantly.
- Country Experiences - Resources are listed by content, with projects organised by region.
- mHealth Links - This includes a sampling of sites that organised found to be useful for the creation of this toolkit.
- mHealth Events - The calendar is a month-by-month view of mHealth activities.
- Health Areas - The growing area of mHealth covers a variety of topics including chronic diseases, family planning/reproductive health, HIV/AIDS, malaria, nutrition, and tuberculosis. This section contains the articles and resources in the toolkit cross-referenced by these health topics.
More than 50 organisations collaborated to select, organise, and maintain this collection of resources, which suggest promising approaches for the high potential of mHealth. It was funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). More about the mHealth Working Group and the organisations and journals that have contributed to resources on the mHealth toolkit are listed on the mHealth Working Group's website.
K4Health News, June 27 2012.