Monday, May 12, 2014

ICT for Development: Healthcare perspectives - Marco Haenssgen

Focusing on upstream elements of mHealth, Marco explored patterns of mobile 
phone use and healthcare-seeking behaviour, drawing on fieldwork insights from 
rural India (Rajasthan) and China (Gansu). The evidence suggests that common 
assumptions of mHealth proponents are easily violated; that is, mobile phone 
ownership is not ubiquitous and does not necessarily reflect mobile phone use, 
people do not necessarily share mobile phones freely amongst each other, they 
are not necessarily keen and excited technological learners, and they do develop m
obile phone-aided coping strategies that may compete with mhealth. While both 
contexts offer, at least in theory, the potential for mobile technology to break boundaries, 
the presentation emphasised the importance of understanding upstream factors of mHealth 
before deploying technological solutions in order to provide effective solutions and to 
avoid the potential exacerbation of healthcare inequities.

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