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: 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: Lindy Dreyer, Tory Vanek

In April, Facebook made it possible for organizations to use chat bots to send and receive messages from users of Facebook Messenger. That’s a big deal. Facebook Messenger is now used by 900 million people every month. As the name implies, it’s a messaging platform that people use to send short messages to each other through the app. …

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By: Ellen Beckjord

On December 3, 2015, the National Cancer Institute’s Smokefree.gov team 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.

Part of the day was spent answering a series of questions about the current state of evaluation in mHealth research, as well as predictions about and pathways to a future state. This blog post…

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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: Alice Murray

Social media is a powerful tool for exposing large populations to information because of the easily accessible audience base. Social media outreach, or seeking contact with individual users through direct and personalized messages on social media platforms, provides an opportunity to expand the reach of evidence-based resources for public health issues. The National Cancer Institute’s Smokefree.gov uses this form of social media intervention to reach smokers who are trying to quit. Quitting…

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