What Does the “m” in mHealth Really Mean?

In a recent Twitter exchange, James BonTempo asked a very pertinent question about the current mHealth buzz:

“Should definition of #mHealth include devices (wondering specifically about netbooks) or simply the concept of mobility?”

mhealth
The only mHealth definition? (Img: DataDyne)

He followed up his initial query with a simple poll that asked if mHealth should include a list of specific platforms or just the concept of mobility. So far, Twitterers agree, the “m” in mHealth should represent mobility, regardless of form factor.

But that’s different from the general notion of mHealth, represented by the mHealth Wikipedia entry, which focuses on equipment “mHealth is a recent term for medical and public health practice supported by mobile devices, such as mobile phones, patient monitoring devices, PDAs, and other wireless devices.”

In our next Technology Salon, we’ll explore what the “m” in mHealth means for those who actually practice mHelath, with these field-experienced experts:

  • James BonTempo who says, “Ask someone about #mHealth they’ll mention (smart)phones and PDAs. But who’s counting users with laptops? After all, they are “mobile” devices.”
  • Josh Nesbit who says, “I tend to frame everything in reference to end users, so the “m” describes the mobility of healthcare workers, facilitated by devices.”
  • David Isaak who says, “I am definitely in the “m” in mHealth being everything mobile. I usually use the acronym “mICT” for a broader view.”
  • Wayan Vota who says, “Ask those in #mHealth hype and they say (smart)phones. Ask those who DO #mHealth and they talk about holistic ICT ecosystems.”

But enough about what the four of us think. Come out Thursday morning to give your own voice to the conversation. Our goal: a shared definition of mHealth from an implementer’s perspective, and a better understanding of mHealth for everyone involved.

What Does the “m” in mHealth Really Mean?
September Technology Salon
Thursday, September 10 8:30-10am
UN Foundation Conference Room
1800 Mass Avenue, NW, Suite 400
Washington, D.C. 20036 (map)

Do note that we’ll have hot coffee and Krispe Kreme donuts to wake you up, but seating is limited and the UN Foundation is in a secure building. So the first fifteen (15) to RSVP will be confirmed attendance and then there will be a waitlist.

One Response

  1. I may be spilling the beans a bit, but here are two posts that summarize some of my recent thinking on the “m” in mHealth: What is mHealth all about? and What is mHealth all about? Part 2. Enjoy! I look forward to the conversation next week 🙂