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date: 05 June 2020

Abstract and Keywords

In this chapter, the authors explore the rapidly changing landscape of mobile health (mHealth) over the past decade. From a time of discordant innovation at the beginning of the global mobile phone “revolution” to one where national mHealth strategies are the norm, a number of key innovations and digital strategies have emerged as catalysts for clinical and public health service delivery. In 2019, the World Health Organization released the first-ever digital health guidelines, based on extensive systematic reviews, to help ministries of health and implementing agencies to make evidence-based investments in digital health. Several key mHealth approaches to health system strengthening have been identified across the various layers of complex health systems—from improving target population denominators to strengthening service quality and affordability. Across layers of patient, provider, and system interventions, examples of digital strategies will be used to illustrate the ways in which mHealth can be used to overcome persistent bottlenecks or cost drivers. Seminal frameworks and tools to describe, evaluate, and measure the maturity of digital health innovations will be introduced, with links to key resources. Finally, the importance of engagement is discussed as an emergent frontier of digital “adherence” to prescription-strength digital applications.

Keywords: digital health, mobile health, health system, low-income country, middle-income country, guideline, implementation, evidence synthesis

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