The field of mHealth was galvanized in 2008 by the flagship United Nations Foundation-Vodafone Foundation publication, mHealth for Development. Since then, the mHealth Alliance and key partners have produced a collection of over 20 mHealth publications. These materials cover topics ranging from patient privacy to the mobile gender gap to technology standards and more. The collection has served to define and shape the field of mHealth and will now be available on the Knowledge for Health (K4Health) platform.
K4Health’s mHealth Knowledge portal generates, curates, and disseminates high quality resources for the field, making it the ideal new home for the mHealth Alliance collection. Incorporating the collection into the knowledge portal will ensure that these publications continue to serve as a set of critical building blocks as the mHealth sector progresses towards national digital health systems.
Each publication in this archived collection was developed in partnership with key thought leaders and mHealth Alliance member organizations. It is the collective undertaking of hundreds of experts and researchers from government stakeholders to private sector partners to frontline health workers. The mHealth Alliance’s thought leadership in the field began with the first-ever collection of mHealth case studies and the first global mHealth survey, published in partnership with the World Health Organization (WHO). Over the years, the Alliance has also developed important publications series focused on topics such as: maternal, newborn, and child health; overcoming key barriers and gaps; and aging populations. The progression of topics and issues covered in these publications exemplifies the tremendous progress that has been made in mobilizing collective action to address the major barriers to mainstreaming mHealth.
While each report stands on its own to provide systematic documentation, analysis and recommendations on specific topics, together they tell the story of mHealth and illuminate a promising path forward. These publications can, for example, facilitate informed maternal and child health decisions and investments for the post 2015 agenda.The content can catalyze multi-donor collaborations and the adoption of a principled approach to technology to strengthen national and global health systems. By leveraging the thought leadership contained within these resources, the global health and development communities will be better able to integrate technology platforms, develop and adopt standards, address individual rights to privacy and security, and promote more sustainable funding for digital health technologies. Much more than simply a historical record of the field of mHealth, this collection offers a guide for the future of digital health.
In the spirit of true partnership, the United Nations Foundation, which served as the host of the mHealth Alliance, would like to thank the United States Agency for International Development and the Johns Hopkins Center for Communication Programs for providing a platform for these publications. Through mHealth Knowledge, these publications will continue to inform responsible and evidence-based practices in the use of mobile health for the benefit of those most in need.
Patricia N. Mechael