Over the past decade, mobile health, or mHealth, has emerged as a cutting-edge tool for expanding access to health information and services around the world. mHealth uses mobile and wireless technologies, such as mobile phones, patient monitoring devices, personal digital assistants (PDAs), and mobile software applications (apps), to achieve health objectives.
Why are a growing number of health programs—and even district and national health systems—turning to these technologies to support their efforts? There are many good reasons to consider using mHealth tools to improve public health. In fact, there are billions of reasons…as in billions of mobile phone users, including some of the poorest people in the world, living in the most difficult settings. Many of these mobile phone users are health workers and their clients who face a range of barriers to accessing health information and services. Sometimes characterized as “underserved” or “marginalized,” there is one way these populations have already been reached—by mobile telecommunications carriers.