mHealth and maternal and newborn mortality

Posted on Tue, Jul 06, 2010 – 05:21 am at |

A call for collaboration by international groups to reduce maternal and newborn mortality by employing mobile technologies includes a joint statement with five primary action areas:

  • Identify how technology can help enable known interventions that address maternal & newborn health needs
  • Design and build the first models of information and communications technologies (ICT) systems to do this, and the content and policies to go with them
  • Create new metrics for evaluating programs, using the enormous amount of data ICT-supported programs will produce
  • Test these integrated, end-to-end, scalable solutions in a variety of countries to learn what works best
  • Share activities in all four of the above, and lessons learned and best practices, with the global maternal health communities through a variety of communications channels

The initial supporters include the Family Care International, the GSM Association, Johns Hopkins School of Nursing and Bloomberg School of Public Health, mHealth Alliance, Partnership for Maternal, Newborn and Child Health, PATH, and the White Ribbon Alliance. PMNCH is spearheading the development of the Joint Action Plan.

Fabiano Teixeira da Cruz, Inter-American Development Bank in How Mobile Phone Technology Can Fight Maternal Mortality recounted the causes of high maternal mortality:

  • Poor access to the health care system
  • Access to family planning – counseling, services, supplies
  • Low coverage of antenatal care (e.g. missing appointments)
  • Inability or difficulties to communicate with providers and health-care team in case of emergencies and when needed
  • No access to lab results
  • No health care-related information easily available

Mobile phones have already played a part in women’s health issues by targeting human trafficking and infectious diseases.