Linking information and communication technologies (ICTs) and global health development is not a new concept, but the proliferation of ICT applications (particularly mobile applications) over the last decade is unprecedented. Key global health documents now mention mobile health or “mHealth” or the practice of medicine and public health supported by mobile devicesas a means to support strategic development goals.

The United Nations’ Millenium Development Goal number 8 (MDG 8) calls specifically for increased access to new technologies, but mHealth applications also have the potential to advance results for the other seven MDGs. In particular, ICT applications used for family planning/reproductive health efforts are critical for moving ahead on MDG 3 (promote gender equality and empower women),  MDG 4 (reduce child mortality), MDG 5 (improve maternal health), and MDG 6 (combat HIV/AIDS, malaria, and other diseases). 

There are also numerous opportunities to include mHealth interventions in carrying out the seven core principles of the USAID Global Health Initiative.  According to USAID’s High Impact Practices in Family Planning, ICTs are recognized as recommended and emerging categories of high impact service delivery practices based on the strength and consistency of the family planning/reproductive health evidence-base (USAID 2011).

mHealth  digital and mobile capability, is now at the forefront of eHealth discourse because of its potential to transform information and knowledge exchange using wireless technology. Continued growth in mobile cellular network coverage and access is astounding and a key driver of current mHealth innovation.

It is in this context that the LMG Project is embarking on innovative mHealth activities to support leadership, management, and governance capacity building activities. LMG’s consortium partner, Medic Mobile, is leveraging its technology expertise to introduce mHealth techniques to make local ownership of leadership, management, and governance practices viable and sustainable.