The mHealth field is growing, but not without its growing pains. Significant time and effort is required to introduce and integrate new technology within technical and social systems.
Key to the future of mHealth will be sustainable and scalable projects. Guiding initiatives, such as Millennium Development Goals(MDGs), encourage government programs to identify ways to employ sustainable and scalable projects, but a great deal more research will be required to identify practical strategies for their development. In this blog I will discuss promising approaches that I believe demonstrate how mHealth could have a sustainable impact at scale on maternal and newborn health outcomes.
The integration of mobile technology into local health systems
Mobile technology solutions have the potential to augment current health practices and complement local technical networks. The performance of maternal and newborn healthcare systems can be improved by designing mHealth solutions appropriately. In the design phase it is critical to assess the needs, practices and abilities of local users as well as assess local communication networks to understand capacity constraints and tailor solutions effectively. For one, literacy levels challenge the reach and effectiveness of mHealth services in many low-resource settings. Contextualizing content and using culturally specific approaches can significantly increase the value of such services to users. Also, access to reliable power supplies can have a major influence on the performance of communication networks in low-resource settings, and the development of standards and policies can support the development of mHealth solutions to effectively integrate within existing health information systems.
See on www.healthunbound.org