mHealth evidence database goes live

An online mHealth evidence database designed to serve as a global resource for the worldwide mobile healthcare community has gone live, according to an announcement. A U.S. Agency for International Development-funded Knowledge for Health (K4Health) project, was developed to catalog, categorize and grade all of the known peer-reviewed and grey literature on mHealth in high-, middle- and low-income countries. 

The goal of the database is to "bring together the world's literature on mHealth to make it easier for program managers, researchers, funders, Ministry staff, and other key decision-makers to design and implement effective and efficient programs and remain current with the state-of-the-art," states the announcement.

In May, FierceMobileHealthcare spoke with James BonTempo, Director of ICT & Innovation at the Center for Communication Programs at Johns Hopkins University's Bloomberg School of Public Health, who helped drive the database initiative. BonTempo believes the inability to access high-quality mHealth evidence quickly and easily limits the ability of ministries of health, multilateral institutions and donors to make well-informed decisions about which mHealth interventions merit additional investment. It also creates uncertainty on the part of innovators, implementers and researchers regarding which mHealth interventions to include in their field-based programs. "houses information on peer-reviewed evidence from low-, middle- and high-resource settings and will be expanded in the coming months to include grey literature," states the announcement. Grey literature, including evaluations, project reports, white papers, blog posts and discussion boards, is a heretofore untapped resource in mHealth. While some of the current mHealth evidence resides in the peer-reviewed literature, as BonTempo argues, much of it (in many cases, the most timely and relevant aspects) resides in the grey literature.

The taxonomy for categorizing the evidence database and the criteria for assessing it were developed in collaboration with a World Health Organization-sponsored mHealth Technical and Evidence Review Group. 

"Material is classified using the new mHealth Evidence Taxonomy, developed in coordination with the WHO, and is easily filtered and searched to facilitate the identification of evidence-based, high-impact mHealth practices," states the announcement.

To learn more
- read the announcement