mHealth Monitor

The mHealth Monitor blog is an open, collaborative space for experts and practitioners in the field of mHealth to share ideas. The foundational posts will feature thinking that originated at a workshop in December 2015, when the National Cancer Institute (NCI) convened a group of 20 thought leaders in the field of mHealth, smoking cessation, and evaluation. The primary objective of this meeting was to find ways to explore key scientific methods that allow for evaluation of smart design efforts to help people quit smoking, while keeping pace with technology. While the first set of posts will focus on evaluation, our goal is to amplify the conversation within the larger mHealth community, with the aim of improving how mHealth interventions are designed, delivered, and evaluated to effectively carry out health behavior change.

If you are reading this, you are probably interested in these topics and that likely means you have something relevant to share. We invite you to add your comments and consider posting on a topic that is of interest to you. We hope this will be a lively space for people to toss out ideas, share opinions, respectfully debate one another, and collectively move the thinking forward on how to build well designed, effective mHealth interventions.

By: Jessica Havlak

Mother’s Day is about celebrating the (mostly) joys of motherhood, and maybe taking some time to pamper yourself or be pampered by your family. The Smokefree Women Facebook page often receives stories from real women who quit about spending time with their children. We thought that highlighting these stories about the joys and benefits of being a smokefree mom would be an uplifting, heartwarming way to celebrate Mother’s Day with SFGI. 


Moms have some of the best reasons to…

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By: Ellen Beckjord


On December 3, 2015, the National Cancer Institute convened a group of 18 behavioral scientists for a day-long meeting to discuss scientific methods for evaluating technology-mediated behavior change interventions, with an emphasis on mobile smoking cessation interventions. This post contains excerpts from a document provided to participants in advance of the December 3 meeting. The document was used to set context for discussion by providing a high-…

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By: Brian Keefe

“You can’t always get what you want, but if you try sometimes, you just might find, you get what you need…” – Mick Jagger, Rolling Stones

Now, I don’t think Mick was thinking about the evaluation of health interventions when he wrote these lyrics, but they ring true for anyone who has ever tried to measure behavioral outcomes in a real world setting; for example, measuring outcomes associated with using an easily accessible, population-level intervention in which the users are free…

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By: Iva Stoyneva

As mobile technologies continue to advance and grow, the world of mobile health (mHealth) is seeing parallel growth. As of 2016, there are roughly 259,000 mHealth related apps available1.  Last year, Pew Research Center…

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By: Sarah Field

In 2003, the Tobacco Control Research Branch of the National Cancer Institute (NCI) launched the Smokefree.gov initiative (SFGI), a large mobile health smoking cessation program.  The Smokefree.gov Initiative (SFGI) has since evolved into numerous mobile-optimized websites, smartphone applications, text message programs, and social media channels. 

With such diverse resources, ensuring that these tools reach current smokers, including smokers who represent vulnerable populations (e.g…

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