mHealth and Public Health: Are You Ready?

A few weeks ago, mHealth@Duke 2014 was held in the Trent Semans Center for Health Education on Duke University’s campus. The immediate buzz may have subsided, but the excitement of the presentations remains.

Keynote speaker was David Mohr, PhD, Director of  the Center for Behavioral Technologies (CBITS), a multidisciplinary center at Northwestern University. Dr. Mohr works alongside programmers and engineers to develop modules that can be reused by researchers; collaboration among all is key, and leads to the creation of elements that can be repurposed.

FHI360’s Kelly L’Engle, PhD, spoke of their success with text messaging as a means of communication with women in Kenya and Tanzania about reproductive health; three content formats were employed (basic family planning, clinic locator and role model stories).

And, from Duke, Dr. Gary Bennett, Director of the Duke Obesity Prevention Program, gave a dynamic presentation about research in disseminating digital health obesity treatments for high risk populations.

CHAI’s Faculty Director, Deborah Tate, PhD, described her experiences in eHealth and shared lessons learned on engagement and adherence from years of conducting behavioral weight control interventions among various populations. She discussed future directions and research needs to improve understanding of usage patterns and promote adherence within the context of behavioral interventions.

While the advent of mHealth is fairly recent, expanded adaptation of mobile devices creates an opportunity for health intervention.

How will mHealth affect public health? Are you ready for The Internet of Things?

 

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