About this Research Topic
Health systems around the world are still far from achieving Sustainable Development Goals: “Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages”. The World Health Assembly Resolution on Digital Health (2018) acknowledged the potential for digital technology to strengthen health systems by improving the accessibility, quality, and affordability of health services. However, the WHO digital health interventions guideline (2019) emphasized that digital health innovations are not sufficient on their own to ensure system improvements. They require supportive environments for health workers to be able to use the technology easily.
One component of digital health is mHealth, defined as the use of mobile technology to support health care. mHealth has the potential to support by shifting key tasks from higher to lower cadres of health workers, such as community health workers or nurses to collect data, make decisions, provide patient reminders, access information and facilitate emergency referrals. Increasing evidence shows that mHealth interventions can improve antenatal and postnatal care attendance, increase facility-based deliveries and skilled attendance at birth, improve postnatal vaccination rates and enable more efficient data reporting. However, while there has been widespread excitement about the importance and potential benefits of mHealth, the realization of these benefits is challenged by difficulties around implementation and especially around the need for health care workers and systems to use digital health effectively.
In this Research Topic, we welcome Original Research and Review papers that address the feasibility, acceptability, and effectiveness of mHealth to improve access to, or the quality of, obstetric care. Submissions are welcome from anywhere in the world, with priority given to research originating from low- or middle- income countries. Of particular interest, is the evaluation of the health systems or worker motivators, as well as barriers to the uptake of new technology and the use of technology as a disruptive force to change how care is provided.
Keywords: mHealth, CHWs, Digital Health, Obstetrics, Maternal Health
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