Making Mobile Health Case Studies Searchable: Launching the mHealth Database

Making Mobile Health Case Studies Searchable: Launching the mHealth Database

African Strategies for Health (ASH) launches the mHealth database (screenshot, April 20, 2015).

It’s nearly impossible to find someone who doesn’t own or have access to a mobile phone these days. According to International Telecommunication Union (ITU) 2014 estimates, there are nearly seven billion mobile sub­scriptions worldwide, five billion of which are in low- and middle-income countries.

With mobile technologies accessible to 95.5 percent of the world population, a new platform for promoting and delivering health services has emerged. 

Mobile phones are increasingly being used by various cadres of health workers for tasks such as collecting health data; monitoring implementation of health interventions; or informing local communities about potential outbreaks of disease, as was done during the recent Ebola epidemic in West Africa.

These new, innovative ways to make use of mobile technologies to improve health outcomes are known as mobile health or mHealth.  

This month, the African Strategies for Health (ASH) project launched the mHealth Database, a resource which compiles more than 100 case studies on mHealth applications that have been featured in the US Agency for International Development (USAID) and ASH series of mHealth Compendiums.

mHealth, as defined by the World Health Organization, is the use of mobile and wireless technologies to support the achievement of health objectives. mHealth can be utilized for a wide variety of purposes, including health promotion and disease prevention, health care delivery, training and supervision, electronic payments, and information systems. With the ever growing number of mHealth interventions, at varying stages of development and/or implementation, this can be a challenging landscape to explore.

Over the last three years, the ASH project, led by Management Sciences for Health (MSH), has been working closely with the USAID Bureau for Africa and other USAID bureaus, missions, and partners to expand the body of knowledge on mHealth solutions. The ASH project has undertaken a number of activities to help USAID field staff and African ministries of health access the most current and relevant information regarding mHealth solutions, including creating this new database to assist in navigating the plethora of mHealth programs throughout the developing world.

Use the database to learn about the interventions, how they address specific health areas or problems, important results or evaluation findings, and contact information for both implementers and donors. Case studies can be filtered by health area, application type, and location. The database is periodically updated to include new mHealth case studies, facilitating a search of the most recent interventions in mobile health. Stay tuned for Volume 5 of the mHealth Compendium, scheduled for release in May 2015.

Visit the ASH mHealth Database today to start your search