The mHealth Alliance and the Millennium Development Goal Summit

Our friends at the mHealth Alliance pass along this note from the most recent issue of the  Alliance’s monthly e-newsletter, mPulse.

Next week in New York City, world leaders and heads of business and development groups will convene for the 2010 Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) Summit.  The MDGs set out ambitious targets for reducing disease and mortality worldwide by 2015.  In addition to combating the most harmful infectious diseases for adults and children, the goals focus on ending poverty and hunger, improving maternal and child health, increasing access to education for all children, and promoting environmental sustainability.

Due in large part to the increasing ubiquity of mobile devices, technological innovation can accelerate progress in achieving the MDGs, especially for women’s health, which is crucial to the improvement of the overall health of developing nations.  As mentioned in an earlier issue (Vol. 2., Issue 5) of mPulse, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon recently assembled the Global Strategy for Women’s and Children’s Health.  The Strategy will be launched formally during the MDG Summit.

The MDGs and the Global Strategy both call for the use of technological innovation and public-private partnerships to improve health outcomes globally.  To harness the tremendous opportunity mHealth presents for improving the health and wellbeing of women and children, the mHealth Alliance and a set of international partners have developed a very specific mHealth plan to produce the impact on maternal and newborn health the Global Strategy envisions.

The Maternal and Newborn mHealth Initiative recommends the use of information and communication technologies (ICTs), especially mobile, throughout maternal and child health programs to empower women and their healthcare providers with information, support and access to higher levels of care.  Mobile devices also can make data collection and monitoring efforts more accessible, efficient, and accurate.   The Initiative will be discussed at meetings of the United Nations Digital He@lth Initiative, the UN’s Broadband Commission, and a series of other events next week.  In addition, check out the Global Health Magazine Online for our op-ed, further covering the Initiative and a high level view of the current space within Maternal and Newborn Health and mobile based innovation.

Stay tuned for a recap on announcements made in support of the Global Strategy at the UN MDG Summit.  You can follow events in New York through the UN Foundation, Mashable and 92Y Social Good Summit at:  Discussions and decision-making supporting collaboration between the technology, health, development, policy, and research communities will continue during the mHealth Summit, taking place November 8-10, 2010 in Washington, D.C.