Mobile Technologies to Diffuse Preventive Interventions Globally Mary Jane Rotheram-Borus

Mobile Technologies to Diffuse Preventive Interventions Globally
Abstract of the Presentation for the 2010 Bennett Lecture at Penn State
Mary Jane Rotheram-Borus
University of California, Los Angeles
Mobile phones are broadly available and their use has become widespread, particularly in lowand middle-income countries where the penetration rate surpasses 100%.
My presentation will focus on four examples of using mobile phones to enhance the
information available and the quality of preventive health interventions. First, we have used mobile
phones to improve the training, accuracy of any information diffused, monitoring, and support of
community health workers (CHW) in urban and rural townships in South Africa. Second, we have
used mobile phones to evaluate the efficacy of preventive interventions in South Africa. Third, we
have used mobile phones to create social support networks for women living with diabetes in South
Africa. Fourth, persons living with HIV in Los Angeles have had their adherence to medical regimes
and reductions in transmission acts monitored and increased over time via the use of mobile phones.
The importance of the mobile platform for transforming the health of communities is immense
and, as yet, underutilized. For this reason and several others, the applications developed for the mobile
health platform remain an open-source resource with standardized interfaces to maximize the utility of
the platform for rapid, global diffusion of improved preventive health care.