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Research report on mobile technology application in maternal and child health in China announced

The China Center for mHealth Innovation (CCmHI), housed at the George Institute, China together with the department of Child, Adolescent and Women’s Health, School of Public Health, Peking University, has released the new research report on Mobile technology application in maternal and child health in China.

Experts, academia and industry representative from the field of maternal and child health (MCH), as well as mobile health (mHealth), gathered at the Health Science Center of Peking University, and discussed in depth on report findings, opportunities and challenges China MCH mHealth faced.

Funded by China Children and Teenagers’ Fund, CCmHI carried out the research, systematically reviewed global papers on MCH mHealth and effect of mobile technology in maternal and child health at home and abroad, meanwhile analyzed top 200 MCH Apps in China market. We hope it can provide the government with some referable information and evidence for the formulation of maternal and child policy, development and innovation of MCH care institutions, exploration and study of scientific research institutions and development of products related to MCH care.

“China’s development has dramatically improved the health of women and children in the past two decades. mHealth, as an integration of mobile technology and health, can improve quality and individuation of maternal and child health care in China.  However, development and scaling-up of mHealth in maternal and child health requires solid research evidence, as well as lessons learnt from previous success and failure,” said Puhong Zhang, Associate Director of The George Institute, China.  “And we believe before long China can make further improvement on its maternal and child health, in which mHealth will play an unmeasurable role.”

The report shows there are currently thousands of maternal and child health related mobile phone applications in China market only. However, there were only 168 relevant studies worldwide (21 from China) within the past 5 years, and only a small number of apps were able to maintain its popularity in the market. Development of mHealth in maternal and child health requires both innovation and evidence from rigorous research. In addition, mHealth can maximise efficiency of service and medical resources by acting as a bridge between service user (pregnant women) and supplier (hospitals), which are isolated by existing mHealth products in the market.

“The report systematically reviewed the studies on application of mobile health technology in maternal and child health and the current app market in China.It is built on the basis of the research on maternal and child health policy, working system, resources allocation, technical standards and etc. We hope that the report can contribute to the development and promotion of the mobile platforms for maternal and child health in China,” said Professor Haijun Wang, Department head of Child, Adolescent and Women’s Health, School of Public Health, Peking University.

Researchers hope it can provide innovative ways for government, maternal and child health institutions, relevant research institutes and experienced private enterprises to solve the bottlenecks in current maternal and child health system in China.