In a recent post, I noted the role that I believe mobile health applications (mHealth) could impact healthcare in developing nations. In the last few days, I have come across other articles that reinforce the value of mHealth approaches to health promotion and for providing care over distances.
First, Kent Bottles (@KentBottles on Twitter) has written an article that emphasizes his belief that mHealth applications will be a major direction for healthcare development in the near future. He makes a compelling case that the availability, flexibility and mobility inherent in mHealth approaches to care will be valuable tools to make health care more accessible.
Second, a recent series of articles in Perspectives in Health Information Management evaluates the role of mHealth in improving the health of minority communities in the United States. I only just found the articles and have not yet read them fully, but the big picture summarized here and here is that access to mHealth tools helps overcome barriers to health care that minority communities face, and represent a new approach to addressing health care inequalities. I suspect that much more discussion (and more posts) will be forthcoming on these topics.
It appears that mHealth and social media approaches will allow nations—both our own, and developing nations overseas—to expand healthcare services to marginalized or underserved communities.