Bellagio Library/

mHealth in Practice: Mobile Technology for Health Promotion in the Developing World

by Patricia Mechael and Jonathan Donner

Patricia Mechael participated in a Bellagio convening in 2008. During this convening, she made many connections that would lead to mHealth in Practice: Mobile Technology for Health Promotion in the Developing World (Bloomsbury Academic, 2012). Patricia is a public health specialist, co-founder and policy lead at HealthEnabled, and a Senior Associate in the Center for Global Digital Health Innovations in the Department of International Health at the John Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.

A few words with Patricia

“This book was inspired by “Making the eHealth Connection” mHealth Conference at the Bellagio Center. It was the first ever gathering of people working on the use of mobile phones to improve access to health services and health information in low and middle income countries.

“The introduction and conclusion of the book were especially challenging as the field was just beginning to take off and there was so much happening at the time.”

A Quote from mHealth in Practice

“This volume is a timely attempt to glean wisdom and learning from early pioneers… to minimize the reinvention of the wheel and learning the hard way. While it was challenging for many of the practitioners represented in this book to step back and reflect on their experiences, their contributions throughout the process have been tremendous. It is their voices and on-the-ground insights that will help us all become more thoughtful in our approaches to this work and ultimately generate programs that are more fully integrated in a meaningful way into the everyday lives of those who are well to stay well and those who fall ill to better manage their health.”


The application of mobile communication technologies to support health initiatives in developing countries (mHealth) has recently seen an explosion of interest. As a result, there is a need to promote and share rigorous research for better informed policy, programming, and investment. There are, however, few platforms for the exchange of information and proven practice between practitioners and researchers.

This is a focused edited volume with contributions from leading researchers and practitioners to identify best practices in using mobile technologies to promote healthy behaviors (and reduce unhealthy ones) in resource-constrained settings with a special focus on developing countries. Though the opportunities to leverage mobile phones for health are new, the challenges confronting researchers and practitioners are interdisciplinary and theoretically complex, with roots in decades of work on mediated behavior change campaigns and theories.

Explore More

To find out more about Patricia’s work, you can visit her website. You can also find out more about the work of HealthEnabled.

mHealth in Practice is available to read through the Bloomsbury Open Access programme.