A team effort by Laura, Lucinda,
Matty, Michelle and Olivia
What is mHealth?
The use of mobile technologies (including phones, tablets
and net books) to improve public health (Gruber &
Koutroumpis 2010 p30).
Getting Mobile: Weight
Mobile apps are commonly use by people to
track diet patterns and monitor their health
including calorie counting and food
The mobile device market offers different
applications to suit individual needs. Some of
„MyFitnessPal‟ is free and the most popular
(GooglePlay). This app offers an extensive
nutritional database of foods and a social
networking community (MyFitnessPal.com).
„Lose it!‟, like, „MyFitnessPal‟ has the ability to
scan barcodes for nutritional value as well as
track both food intake and exercise output.
„Diet Assistant‟ provides its users with
personalized, structured meal plans and
recommendations (SMH 2013). „It does not
entirely rely on counting calories but also
provides other diet monitoring options.
Getting Mobile: Weight
• “Spark People‟ can search restaurant items and gives
the generic nutritional and calorie values (Lifehacker
• Medical research shows that metabolism, which is
controlled by the body‟s hormones, is a major factor in
a person‟s weight (CBN 2008). Nutritional expert
Doctor Lopez has found that in order to lose weight,
people must combine calorie intake and the body‟s
ability to manage fat storage, which is controlled by
the metabolism (CBN 2008).
• Furthermore, with the popularity of free apps (Flurry
2013), it is likely that many complex, psychological
mobile apps will give users a more tools at low cost for
mHealth & Mental Health
Apps for mental health include:
• 'BellyBio' and 'Deep Sleep' - teaches the user breathing and relaxation
• 'eCBT Calm' and 'DBT Diary Card' offer a cognitive behavioral
approach by guiding its users through depression or anxiety episodes
and enable the user to track their progress or changes. There are even
apps to help those with suicidal thoughts (Kiume 2013).
mHealth & Mental Health
Apps are used by health
professionals to facilitate the
treatment of young patients (Reid et
al 2012). Patients can track their
moods and stresses and then share
the information for discussion in
face-to-face sessions. This means
doctors can quickly obtain accurate
information and understand their
patient better (Reid et al 2012).
The psychologist, Dr Carr-Gregg
argues that mobile devices are
under-utilised (cited in Gallasch
2013). He argues that mental
illness among young people is
increasing and utilising phone apps
for a computer savvy generation is
• Apps should be designed
with data, security and
privacy safety and be subject
to minimum standard
regulations (Luxton et al
Our Mobile Globe
• Mobile devices improve global health
services in a number of ways such as
patients being reminded of appointments
and doctors managing patient‟s conditions.
Mobile technology can reach remote areas
as mobile coverage is constantly
improving. Global mHealth is accessible,
effective and efficient.
Our Mobile Globe
• SMS or text-based campaigns improve and share health information
with people who lack reliable Internet access (Gruber &
Koutroumpis 2010). According to the World health Organisation
2012 survey there are over 5 billion people in the world who have
phone plans subscriptions making it the biggest platform for sharing
information‟‟ (Batavia et al 2012 p26). Mobile Health gives people
greater knowledge and access to medical experts in real – time.
(Batavia et al 2010)
mHealth & Fitness
• People are turning to mobile
apps to keep fit and there are
a large number to choose
• Brooker, V (2013) stated
“keeping track of your goals
and documenting your
experiences helps you stay
motivated by allowing you to
see both big and small
successes”. With most
people using smart phones
on a day-to-day basis it
makes it easier to stay
connected with personal
goals. Applications such as
„Nike + GPS‟ allows the user
to map running routes and
track progress using their
IPhone. The application,
which costs $1.99, gives
motivation in the form of
messages and cheers and
mHealth & Fitness
• Applications such as these are also linked through
to other social media platforms such as Facebook
allowing the user to gain encouraging comments
from friends and family to stay on track with their
• Increasing healthy behaviours can be difficult but
an application such as „7 minutes‟ allows the user
to stop and begin a simple work out which lasts on
seven minutes. This work out is designed to be
completed in any environment from a gym, hotel
room or even a work office.
mhealth: Getting Diagnosed
• Waxer (CIO 2010) reports that
patients who enter small regional
medical facilities where there are few
specialists, if any, are able to have
their scans and data assessed by
specialist teams in large urban
hospitals in real time. Scans and
other patient information is uploaded
onto cloud platforms and accessed
then through the Doctors phones.
Doctors are finding that scans are
actually better viewed through their
phones than a backlit box because of
high resolution and zoom features on
the touch screen. Diagnosis can
happen quickly and accurately
thousands of kilometres from the
mHealth: Getting Diagnosed
Hughes, M.D. (ABC 2010) explains that mobiles have enabled research into
the spread of Malaria. In just one year, Africans sent 15 million txt messages
to researchers, who were then able to map out a comprehensive analysis of
the movement and spread of the disease. As a result txt messages are sent
to people to warn them of Malaria hot spots. People can txt their symptoms
to the health services and self-diagnosis can be made quickly to minimise
the spread of infectious diseases.
Pregnant women can be connected to medical consultants and their
concerns can be dealt with immediately when they don‟t have the money,
resources or health to travel. Early diagnosis helps keep mortality rates low
for babies and mothers (mHealth Tanzania 2013).
An App used by The Parkinson‟s Voice Initiative involves people talking into
their mobiles and a diagnosis, which is 99% accurate, can be made to
detect whether that person has signs of Parkinson‟s. Tests using mobile
phones are non-invasive, use existing infrastructure, are accurate, can
happen remotely, don‟t need expertise skills, are high speed, cost very little
and can be done on a mass scale (Little TED 2013).
• mHealth is changing the way we access and deliver information
• Mobile phones are used in the diagnosis and treatment of patients
which is especially beneficial for those living in remote areas
• Mobile phones are used in the management of infectious disease
• Phone applications are starting to be incorporated into the treatment
of mental illness, however, this is arguably an area yet to reach its
full potential especially among young people
• Many people utilise phone applications to assist with calorie
counting for weight loss, however, this is not yet a proven successful
• Many people also use mobile devices to track their fitness progress
and keep motivated
• mHealth is a new and exciting field and few studies have
documented its actual success
• We believe mobile devices increase accessibility to health services
and information and ultimately save lives
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