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.
2018 (May): Presentation at mHealth Conference, Oxford: Mobile Healthcare Information For All (Neil Pakenham-Walsh/mHIFA)
2018 (Apr): Blog: HIFA marks World Health Day with call to target and track progress on universal access to essential healthcare information (Geoff Royston, Martin Carroll, Neil Pakenham-Walsh)
2018 (Apr): Geoff Royston and Chris Zielinski represent HIFA at SDG Indicators conference, Vienna. Propose tracer indicator on access to essential healthcare inforamtion on mobile phones.
2017 (Nov): Blog: Mobile Healthcare Information for All: a simple and affordable early step towards worldwide universal health coverage by 2030 (Geoff Royston, Neil Pakenham-Walsh, mHIFA)
2017 (Jul): Presentation at Digital Health 2017 Conference, London: Rapid Methods to Assess the Potential Impact of Digital Health Interventions, and their Application to Low Resource Settings (Geoff Royston/mHIFA)
2017 (Jan): Report: Assessment of mHealth applications for their potential to provide healthcare information for citizens in low resource settings (Geoff Royston/mHIFA)
2016 (Sep): Poster presentation at Appropriate Health Technologies conference, Oxford: Assessing mobile healthcare information applications for citizens in low-resource settings (Geoff Royston/mHIFA)
2016 (Jul): Collaboration with San Jose State University, USA: Survey of producers of video and animated healthcare information for citizens in LMICs. Presentation of findings. Report of webinar. (Laura Wright & Chris Hagar/mHIFA)
2015 (Dec): Presentation at the Global mHealth Forum, Washington DC: Mobile Healthcare Information for All: Anytime, Anywhere (Nand Wadhwani/mHIFA)
2015 (Jul): Publication in The Lancet Global Health: Mobile Healthcare Information for All: A Global Challenge (mHIFA)
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.'
2015 (Jan): Review: Ensuring that mHealth applications provide essential healthcare information for citizens in low resource settings (Geoff Royston/mHIFA)
2014 (Sep): Overview: Trends and challenges for mHealth in developing countries. (Geoff Royston/mHIFA)
2014 (Sep): Paper in Information Development journal: (Mobile) Healthcare Information For All By 2015: Preliminary findings and future direction (Chris Hagar/Heather Kartzinel)
2014 (Jan): Poster presentation at the 2014 BOBCATSSS conference, Barcelona: Mobile Healthcare Information For All (Chris Hagar/mHIFA)
2012: Launch of Project - Concept note