According to mHealth and MNCH: State of the Evidence:

“Mobile technology, particularly mobile telecommunication technology, is increasingly becoming an important tool in global health programs. Excitement about the potential of “mHealth” centers especially on how mobile technology can be applied in lower and middle income countries where people have traditionally had limited access to health services. mHealth strategies are being used to overcome factors that limit access, such as geographic distance to services, social marginalization, inadequate skilled medical personnel or a lack of financial resources.

At the evidence base, supporting mHealth is still relatively nascent, the global health community is just beginning to recognize the potential role that mHealth can play in improving health program results. Some within the development and global health communities are demanding more research evaluating if and how mHealth improves impact in global health programs. Accordingly, generating quality evidence through methodologically rigorous research has emerged as a priority for the broader mHealth community.”

Strategic Approach

MCHIP’s approach to mHealth was to support the development and use of sustainable, integrated tools that could contribute to the successful implementation of high-impact maternal, newborn and child health (MNCH) interventions, and also contribute to health systems strengthening. MCHIP was particularly interested in tools that supported the work of skilled birth attendants and that were interoperable with other health information systems.

Key Contributions

Global Leadership Role

  • Provided technical assistance for the development of mHealth job aids and checklist for the UN Commission on Lifesaving Commodities Recommendation 9 (Performance and Accountability) Working Group and the Neonatal Resuscitation Commodities Working group.
  • Participated in the Mobiles for Midwives Partnership Clinic at the 2013 UN Economic and Social Council Partnership Forum.

Key Activities In-country

  • Timor-Leste: Regular text messages to promote healthy behaviors during pregnancy, and to facilitate improved communication between pregnant women and midwives.
  • Multiple countries: MNCH Quality of Care toolkit, which includes an observational checklist for health worker performance.
  • Ghana: mCoaching system to reinforce midwifery tutors competencies during program interventions.  Includes reminders, tailored content, tracking system and evaluation system.
  • Malawi: National adoption of the SBMR tool. Evidence-based performance standards that empower health care managers and providers to assess and address gaps between actual and desired performance at their facility
  • Kenya & Malawi: ˜Facility-based maternal and newborn health (MNH) surveillance system to measure indicators related to the quality of MNH service delivery, including training center data, client-level data, and register-level data that is facilitated  by eHealth platforms to expedite data entry, internal monitoring, reporting and service management.
  • Mozambique: ˜Training for the Quality of Care Survey completed with 12 observers from the Ministry of Health. Collection of QoC data including labor & delivery (L&D) observation, antenatal care (ANC) observation, health worker interview, and L&D and ANC inventories.
  • India: Postpartum family planning.
  • Bangladesh: Supervisor list for emergency calls.
  • Kenya:  Integrated IFA/PMTCT project.
  • Liberia: Data collection by midwives using text messages.