Mobile Health Activity in Global Maternal and Newborn Health
CITPH Selected to Review Mobile Health Activity in Global Maternal and Newborn Health
For women and newborns in many low- and middle-income countries (LMICs), the rapid expansion of mobile technology infrastructure presents an unprecedented opportunity to increase access to health care and save lives that are lost from preventable and avoidable conditions. The objective of this project were (1) to describe the current state of mHealth intervention design, implementation, and evaluation that can be leveraged to improve maternal and newborn health globally and (2) to identify ways to strategically advance mHealth in maternal and newborn care, as well as strategies for scaling up interventions.
This project prioritized information from 13 LMICs in Asia, Latin America, and Africa: Bangladesh, India, the Philippines, Brazil, Mexico, Peru, Ghana, Kenya, Liberia, the Republic of South Africa, Rwanda, Tanzania, and Uganda. A total of 70 projects related to maternal and newborn health (MNH) and 160 projects in other health areas were identified. Key informant interviews were conducted with experts in health, technology, and public policy, as well as those involved in the development and implementation of mHealth programs worldwide. Additionally, this report was informed by a review of published information and by contacting sponsoring organizations.
The findings highlighted how combining mobile technologies with existing health system resources offers significant potential to provide women and newborns with adequate and appropriate care through interventions that stimulate demand for available services, promote improved access, and lead to efficiencies in care delivery and management practices. And while MNH interventions face significant barriers at technical, social, and economic levels, the ability to conduct rigorous evaluation and provide evidence of demonstrable impact is the crucial catalyst that will advance policy and investment in the field and lead to the successful scaling and sustainability of mHealth interventions. As evidence accrues, policy makers will be able to push forward supportive national policy to promote an enabling environment where the potential of mHealth can best be realized.