Over the past decade, the global "mobile phone" revolution has inspired 1000's of global health innovation projects. Clinicians and public health practitioners have been working with NGOs and governments to leverage the ubiquity of phones and connectivity across once-remote, rural populations as a way of overcome barriers to scale-up programs. A major obstacle in the way of widespread adoption of these "mHealth" innovations, at scale, has been the absence of guidelines from normative bodies like WHO. This stems from the lack of quality reporting to provide an evidence-base of the mHealth work which is being done around the world.
The mHealth Evaluation, Reporting and Assessment (mERA) guidelines represents the FIRST step in this direction - as WHO commissioned a team, including researchers from Johns Hopkins Global mHealth Initiative and the WHO/HRP mHealth Technical Evidence Group (mTERG), to develop standard criteria for reporting research and innovation findings.
mERA seeks to standardize the reporting of mHealth findings and promote the expansion of the evidence base by:
Supplementing existing reporting standards to provide a concrete checklist of criteria specific to reporting on digital innovations
Elaborating on the existing criteria to support high-quality methodological reporting of evidence
These guidelines, will be added to a growing library of standards which have helped move research - from large clinical trials to observational studies - forward significantly. These reporting guidelines also aim for better comparison of research findings, as well as to combine experiences across different settings to advocate for innovations which can improve patient experiences around the globe.
For the WHO mHealth Technical Evidence Review Group (mTERG),
Alain B. Labrique, PhD, MHS, MS
Director, Johns Hopkins University Global mHealth Initiative
Associate Professor, Program in Global Disease Epidemiology and Control
Department of International Health & Department of Epidemiology (jt.), Bloomberg School of Public Health
Division of Health Sciences Informatics, School of Medicine (jt.)
Department of Community-Public Health, School of Nursing (jt.)
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Link leads to: http://www.bmj.com/content/352/bmj.i1174.full?ijkey=bfR2izf9kvNNePU&keytype=ref