Policy support – mHealth evaluations

Role this area should play in the mHealth space

mHealth solutions have the great risk of hype and promise. Decision makers need to have evidence of which kinds of mHealth deliver health outcomes benefits, are acceptable to patients and to healthcare providers, and are cost-effective. Programme developers need firstly to be encouraged to adopt a methodological approach to their programme design and adoption model so that evaluation is possible. Secondly, they must be encouraged to invest in good quality evaluations. Thirdly they should be directed to adopt evaluation methods and metrics that align with other programmes, to enable accurate comparisons to be made and the evidence to be combined.

Current challenges and limitations
  • Many mHealth programmes develop iteratively, making it hard to evaluate them (because their findings emerge from within an evolving programme).
  • mHealth evaluations are under-invested in, not considered from the outset but added in later and sometimes poorly.
  • There is not yet a body of good practices that is readily available to be picked up and reused by programme leads.

 

What benefit could this bring to adopters of this innovation?
Programme developers will collect evidence to support the sustainability and scalability of their own programmes, and support the evidence base for future programs within their own geographical area and more broadly.
How does it contribute to major EU policy priorities? (e.g. EHDS, COVID-19, DTHC etc.)
This area of the Hub will help support evidence for EU policy priorities, such as DTHC.

Examples

mHealth evidence findings (II)

mHealth evidence findings (II)

Approach or solution Systematic review of the evidence of health impact through mHealth   Organisation or initiative Research publication: Marcolino, M. S., Oliveira, J. A. Q., D’Agostino, M., Ribeiro, A. L., Alkmim, M. B. M., & Novillo-Ortiz, D. (2018). The impact of mHealth interventions: systematic... ...

mHealth evidence findings (I)

mHealth evidence findings (I)

Approach or solution Review article consolidating and structurally organising several areas of patient benefit from mHealth programmes   Organisation or initiative Research publication: Rowland, S. P., Fitzgerald, J. E., Holme, T., Powell, J., & McGregor, A. (2020). What is the clinical value of mHealth for... ...

mHealth evidence reporting

mHealth evidence reporting

Approach or solution WHO checklist for what to report and how to report evidence on the use of mHealth solutions   Organisation or initiative Research publication: Agarwal, S., LeFevre, A. E., Lee, J., L’engle, K., Mehl, G., Sinha, C., & Labrique, A. (2016). Guidelines for... ...

What is on the horizon?
There are no specific innovations forthcoming this area, except possibly the greater use of sensors to monitor the health and disease status of mHealth users, so that at least some of the empirical evaluation evidence can be collected automatically, with a minimal burden.