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Marco’s presentation will shift the focus from health workers to the potential recipients of mobile-phone-based health services. Focusing on upstream elements of mHealth, Marco will explore patterns of mobile phone use and healthcare-seeking behaviour, drawing on fieldwork insights from rural India (Rajasthan) and China (Gansu). The evidence suggests that common assumptions of mHealth proponents are easily violated; that is, mobile phone ownership is not ubiquitous and does not necessarily reflect mobile phone use, people do not necessarily share mobile phones freely amongst each other, they are not necessarily keen and excited technological learners, and they do develop mobile phone-aided coping strategies that may compete with mhealth. While both contexts offer, at least in theory, the potential for mobile technology to break boundaries, the presentation will emphasise the importance of understanding upstream factors of mHealth before deploying technological solutions in order to provide effective solutions and to avoid the potential exacerbation of healthcare inequities.