3 mHealth projects you should know about

A midwife registers an expectant mother to the Liga Inan program over her mobile phone. Mobile devices are now supporting the practice of medicine and public health in exciting ways. Photo by: Joaquim de Brito / Catalpa International

Mobile devices are now supporting the practice of medicine and public health in exciting ways. A subset of a larger category known as e-health, which covers all services that involve the electronic transfer of health resources, mHealth has caught the attention of development and business communities alike — a fact reflected in the partnerships that have emerged in the field.

But like any fledgling sector, mHealth has been experiencing some growing pains. A 2014 report on the use of mHealth in West Africa, commissioned as part of the Strengthening Health Outcomes through the Private Sector initiative, detailed several important gaps. For instance, mHealth systems are typically English-based which has obstructed adoption in the largely French speaking West Africa region. Other financial and operational hurdles not unique to the region include: the absence of sustainable models, a small body of evidence on cost effectiveness, a limited capacity to scale up services, a lack of country ownership, and weak signal coverage.

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About the author

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    Anna Patricia Valerio

    Anna Patricia Valerio is a Manila-based development analyst focusing on writing innovative, in-the-know content for senior executives in the international development community. Before joining Devex, Patricia wrote and edited business, technology and health stories for BusinessWorld, a Manila-based business newspaper.