mHEALTH-INNOVATE: What can we learn from health workers' informal use of mobile phones?

4 March, 2022

On 11th April HIFA is launching a 4-week in-depth discussion on the HIFA forum, in collaboration with Makerere University, Norwegian Institute of Public Health, WHO and other research partners. This discussion is vital as a first step as the research consortium rolls out a 4-year programme that includes a systematic review and primary research.

The questions

1. Do you use a mobile phone to help you in your work? How do you use it?

2. How do you use your phone to communicate with colleagues, patients and families?

3. How do you use your phone for other work-related purposes? (eg searching for healthcare information and guidance, tracking supplies, referring patients...)

4. Can you give any examples of *informal* use of mobile phones by health workers? (ie uses of mobile phones that have not been directed by the employer, but have been initiated, adapted or developed by health workers themselves)

5. How can the informal use of mobile phones be improved to strengthen healthcare?

Who can join the discussion?

  • We would like to invite anyone with an interest in health workers’ use of mobile phones to join these discussions. This includes health professionals, community health workers, members of civil society, policy makers, and people working in the field of digital health.
  • We want to hear your thoughts and experiences. You do not have to be an expert in digital health.

How the discussion will work

  • HIFA members receive a daily compilation of messages from the previous 24 hours, sent by email to their personal inbox.
  • HIFA members can contribute to the discussions by sending an email to:
  • All contributions are assessed and approved for distribution to HIFA's 12,000+ members worldwide
  • Your contributions will make a vital contribution to a major 4-year research project

How to join the discussion

  • If you are already a HIFA member, then you do not need to take action. The mHEALTH-INNOVATE will take place in parallel with other HIFA discussions, and you will see the prefix "mHEALTH-INNOVATE" in the subject line of relevant messages.
  • If you are not already a HIFA member, you can join here (free).

Read more about the project here.

Contact: Neil Pakenham-Walsh, Global Coordinator, HIFA:

Photo credit: Mark Leong, WHO HRP