The mHIFA Working Group (Mobile Healthcare Information For All) is a group of HIFA volunteers who:
- promote discussion on the HIFA forums on the role of meobile phones in meeting healthcare information needs
- harness insights and perspectives from HIFA members and integrate these into the HIFA Voices database, together with relevant literature
- lead the HIFA community in advocacy efforts to improve the availability and use of information on mobile phones.
The group has a particular focus on the information needs of the general public, and liaises with the HIFA Project on Citizens, Parents and Children.
Currently (2018) the group is working to raise awareness and engage key stakeholders (such as WHO and mobile network operators) to recognise the desirability and feasibility of universal 24/7 access to essential healthcare information, free of charge, on all (or at least most) mobile phones. In practice, this is likely to mean that the information would be pre-loaded onto handsets before sale and/or or side-loaded onto a micro SD card or smartphone after sale. The former option would provide rapid saturation, while the latter would be slower but could be facilitated by basic wifi technology at health centres and elsewhere.
"Essential health information" means practical guidance for a wide range of healthcare situations commonly experienced in low-resource settings (eg common childhood illnesses, complications of pregnancy and childbirth, and first aid), as well as health education (eg promotion of healthy behaviour, nutrition practices). Information should be in a language and format that is readily understood, even for those who are illiterate.
2012: Launch of Project - Concept note
2015: Launch of mHIFA goal in consultation with wider HIFA community: 'By 2017 at least one mobile network operator or mobile handset manufacturer, in at least one low- or middle-income country, will provide access to essential health information for direct use by citizens and free of any charges.'