Review Of Scholarship On Mhealth, And More Specifically The Uses Of The Tool 's Addressing Maternal Health

Review Of Scholarship On Mhealth, And More Specifically The Uses Of The Tool 's Addressing Maternal Health

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Literature Critique
This section of the paper discusses highlights, debates, gaps, and implications found in the review of scholarship on mHealth, and more specifically the use of the tool in addressing maternal health.

Main Themes
A number of overall themes arise in the analysis of the literature. The first is that overall, the perceptions of mHealth projects by health workers, patients, and staff are high (GSMA Development Fund, 2012; McNamara 2007; PATH 2012). This makes sense given the growth of mobile phones in the past several years around the world and the clear indicators that point to needed healthcare improvements. Because mobile technology is accepted overall, acceptance of an mHealth project may be higher.
Another theme is that mHealth has been proven to be a reliable tool for data collection in many case studies. While some of the literature questions some of the merits of mHealth and the long-term benefits, the majority of the analysis does not deny that it is a better alternative to paper data collection for both general mHealth and maternal mHealth (Carlile et al 2013, PATH 2012).
Finally, the third theme established in the literature is the need for evaluation before, during, and after a mHealth program in order to develop an appropriate program that is successful from both the healthcare practitioner and beneficiary standpoint (GSMA Development Fund, 2012; McNamara, 2007; Mechael, 2009; Mechael & Sloninsky, 2007; Batavia et al., 2010). This applies to all mHealth programs, including those targeting pregnant women as it help ensures the program is on track.

Debates
CHW program effectiveness has been debated. While much research has indicated that health interventions led by CHWs have led to improved maternal...


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...e is ample information regarding the potential role mHealth can play in addressing maternal health and MDG5. The available literature suggests many possibilities of mHealth to connect women to remote healthcare providers, as well as to establish a link to the different levels within a health care system. However, there is still a lot of research that needs to be studied further, in order to understand and validate concepts, mainly coming from the success of scaling up programs and making them sustainable.
To fully realize the benefits of mobile communication in maternal health, further research needs to be conducted with an evidence-basis for scaling up programs and enabling informed mHealth policy-making. This must be done in order to analyze its ability to ensure timely delivery of maternal health education, medical equipment, and improve access to health services.

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