Imagine you are attending a global health conference, and you go to a session on mHealth, a new topic for you. You understand the idea: More and more people have phones, which has radically changed the way people communicate. For many, the mobile phone has unlocked access to real-time information for the first time. The potential for improving health programs is dizzying: With mobile phones, people can receive reminders to take medications. Providers can refer to job aids to ensure they share correct and current information. A community health worker (CHW) can enter and send visit notes and other data from the field without making the long trip to the city. These examples merely scratch the surface.
You can already envision how mobile phones can add value to the program you are managing. You wonder how to get started. What comes first? How do you know what would work? How is this different from other kinds of programming?
Here are the first two steps, as you sort through these and many more questions: