A wake up SMS for Global Mental Health: mhealth in 40 short videos

What’s mobile health, text messages for life, text for change, Ushahidi, FrontlineSMS, Epysurveyor, M-Pesa? How does a SMS-computer interface work? How to send bulk messages, an automatic response SMS? And what do SMS polls and quizzes look like?
And what’s this got to do with Global Mental Health?
SMS services (for cell phones without any internet), are not the only one solution for the mental health treatment gap, but other health sectors prove that it can have tremendous value in certain parts of the world.
Indeed mhealth is also a kind of hype around ‘new things with old the phones’ and every month new sophisticated ideas are emerging and scattered around the developing world. And it is, indeed, difficult for mental health practitioners and policymakers to catch up with all the technical features and new terms.

This article is a journey through mhealth and a few other SMS applications in 40 short videos. Examples, explanations and a few how-to-do videos. It does not cover everything what is on the market, but from everything something. It’s an attempt to create some clarity in the matter, in order to pull reluctant people in the global mental health sector over the threshold.

What is mhealth?
What is mhealth? A 2:44min Mobi Health News video from the 2010 mHealth Summit. They polled two dozen attendees about their personal definitions for mobile health, mHealth or wireless health.
2. mHealth: Doing Good While Doing Well A 2:27min mHealth Alliance video about the importance of mhealth in low resource settings; brief examples and field interviews.
3. Health Experts Say Cell Phones Save Lives in Developing Countries A 2:41min VOANews video about the overall benefits of mhealth and a brief interview with David Aylward, former director of the mhealth Alliance.

Current internet and mobile penetration:
4. Mobile Technology 2011 A 2:02min animated video presenting statistics and future predictions about mobile technology.
5. Did You Know – Mobile Stats for Africa 2011 An 3:18min animation video overview of the mobile technology landscape in Africa with statistics and facts about mobile phones in Africa. Compiled by Praekelt Foundation.

SMS-computer interfaces:
6. Text to Change The Movie A 4:25min video with an explanation of why SMS services on cell phones is a growing business and what Text To Change can offer people in low resource settings.
7. FrontlineSMS – Community Solutions Through Mobile Technology A 5:35min video with Ken Banks (2011 Curry Stone Design Prize Winner) and a brief explanation about FrontlineSMS \o/.
8. Introduction to FrontlineSMS A 8:05min What-Is-It video with Ken Banks about FrontlineSMS.
9. FrontlineSMSDemoFinal A 7:03min showing the download and installation, the gathering of new forms, and the data entry/transmission process of FrontlineSMS on a mobile phone.
10. MaD 2011 Talk – Josh NESBIT: Text Message Can Save Lives. A 14:00min video with speaker Josh Nesbit, co-founder Medic Mobile\+/, a non-profit organization that helps people in remote areas with the FrontlineSMS platform.
11. Rapid Android: Turning an Android Phone into a Data Collection and Supply Management Server A 12:38 video demo about RapidAndroid where a phone is used not only as a data entry tool but a data aggregation platform as well.

Diagnostic and treatment support for health workers:
12. What is MoTech. A 2:33min video about Ghana’s maternal and neonatal care with MoTeCH, using mobile phones for data gathering.
13. RapidResponse Demo A 4:19min animation demo about the use of RapidSMS in the ChildCount Project, an mHealth platform developed by the Millennium Villages Project aimed at empowering communities to improve child survival and maternal health.
14. RWANDA / Rapid SMS A 5:01min video demo with figures of results about a Unicef Rwanda maternal and newborn health project.

Mobile counseling/help:
Could only find one video:
15. Texting that saves lives A 5:25 TED talk with Nancy Lublin, setting up a text-only crisis line for youth in the USA.

Treatment and medication adherence:
16. Considerations in using text messages to improve adherence to HAART A 2:44min video about a qualitative study among clients in Yaoundé, Cameroon who are HIV infected.
17. Mobile Research – Designing SMS Reminders for ART Patients in Peru A 3:07min slide-cast with voice-over about a participatory research approach to identify strategies in designing a text-message reminder system for people living with HIV/AIDS in Peru.
18. Dyer Diabetes SMS Texting Pilot Study NBC Story 2010 A 1:44 video about a diabetes sms texting pilot study which showed how weekly standardized texting conversations between the physician and teen patients improved health outcome.

Remote data collection:
19. Nokia Data Gathering with the Nokia E71 A 2:00min Video from Amazonas State Health Department in Brazil to use the software to monitor and treat outbreaks of dengue fever.
20. Mobiles transforming data collection in developing countries A 29:47min video with Dr Joel Selanikio (CEO and co-founder of DataDyne Episurveyor), about the explosion of mobile phone use in developing countries. He discusses Episurveyor, the use of it, figures, examples, etc.
21. EpiSurveyor Quick Demo A 9:59min demo video: Creating a form, downloading that form to a phone, entering data, and then uploading the data to the episurveyor.org website.
22. DRC SPEAKS! A 2:39min about the mobile GeoPoll, a open mobile polling platform technology powered by Mobile Accord, allowing Congolese to tell the world their thoughts, opinions, and even their hopes for a better Congo through a series of weekly questions.

23. What is Ushahidi? A 2:01 animation video about Ushahidi, a tool to easily crowdsource information using multiple channels, including SMS, email, Twitter and the web.
24,25. Haiti.Ushahidi.com Tutorial – Part 1 A 2:50min video about How to Submit an Incident Report with the Ushahidi platform. And Part 2, a 5:06min video How to Access Incident Reports.
26. Tracking Violence Against Children in Benin A 2:15min video about a a texting and mapping system to report and track violence against children in Benin by Plan International using FrontlineSMS and Ushahidi.
27. The Stop Stock-outs campaign Uganda A 5:16min interview with Dennis Kibira about the medicines Stop Stock-outs mapping campaign, using FrontlineSMS and Ushahidi.

The fight against counterfeit medicines:
28. The fight against counterfeit drugs A 13:12min CBSNews report by Dr. Sanjay Gupta about the worldwide fake medicine problem.
29. mPedigree Dalian: Your Lifeline For Well being A 1:53 demo about the mPedigree Network with Bright Simons.
30. mPedigree Ghana Accra 2011 Grand Prix Netexplorateur 2011 A 5:27min video agin with Bright Simons but with more background info, examples and explanations.

Awareness campaigns:
31. AIDS Hotlines in Africa A 6:29min interview video with Soukeyna Diallo of SIDA Info Service Africa. From the Mobiles4Good website.
32. Learning about Living A 9:17 video with interviews, demo’s and background info about an internet and mobile application for Nigerian teenagers about sexuality and HIV/AIDS prevention Learning about Living,m a Butterfly Works project.
33. Project Masiluleke: Texting to Fight HIV in South Africa A 3:33min presentation by Andrew Rasiej about the Masiluleke project, which fills the unused space in text messages with public service announcements to help fight HIV/AIDS in South Africa.
34. Radio4PeaceBuilding about the free, downloadable SMS organizer for radio stations A 4:58 Podcast (no video, but audio) interview with Amy O’Donnell of FrontlineSMS:Radio \~/.
35. FrontlineSMS:Radio. Giving Radio Listeners A Voice A 5:51min video with Sharath Srinivasan of the Cambridge University’s Centre of Governance and Human Rights (CGHR) speaking about a radio project using SMS.

36. CTIA 2011: How Mobile Giving Works A 2:56min interview video with Jenifer Snyder of the mGive Foundation talking about how mobile giving works and how you can donate to the Red Cross to help Japan.
37. Recycle Your Old Phones and Save Lives with HopePhones.org A 4:31min how-to-do video about the the Hope Phones initiative; recycling used cell phones by collecting them and sending them around the world.

Mobile banking and paying
38. Vodacom M-Pesa A 1:39min animated demo video about M-Pesa Vodacom South Africa.
39. M-Pesa documentary. A 5:29min video documentary showing how Safaricom’s M-Pesa mobile money transfer service is changing lives in Kenya.

40. MPrep’s 5-Minute Pitch A 4:35min video about MPrep, Quality Mobile Education for the Masses.
At the iheed (Irisch Global Health Education Innovation) website you can find a couple of videos from the mhealthEd conference 2011, but their recent 60 pages pdf report ‘Preparing the next generation of community health workers: the power of technology for training’ gives more insight and examples.
And (no videos found) there is a FrontlineSMS:learn\?/, recently launched in a beta version, and Mobile Moodle, an add for Moodle, an open source Learning Management System (LMS) or a Virtual Learning Environment (VLE).

I just finished a 4 week online Tech Change course on ‘Mobiles for International Development: New Platforms for Public Health, Finance and Education’. This excellent course provided me with lots of material for this article and was a nice and very valuable experience in elearning and online discussions and networking.

Roos Korste, psychologist, trainer, blogger, in2mentalhealth

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  • nanaYaw  On May 28, 2012 at 5:26 pm

    Interesting Blog,mobile and really boast the broadcast of HIV awareness

  • Lizzie  On January 20, 2013 at 7:35 am

    I like the helpful information you provide to your articles.
    I will bookmark your blog and test again here regularly.
    I am somewhat sure I’ll be informed lots of new stuff right here! Good luck for the next!


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