mHealth Research Affinity Group

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With mobile technology now an ever-present part of daily life, such technologies are increasingly becoming essential in the management of pediatric health. Mobile health (mHealth) technology is used for assessment and monitoring, intervention, and communication. It can span from simple platforms—like basic text messages, apps, and social media—to the complex and futuristic, like implantable and ingestible devices. Given the ubiquitous use of mobile health for disease management, there is a need for rigorous research to develop and deploy evidence-based mobile health interventions and platforms. Furthermore, research is needed to better understand who benefits from mHealth, under what conditions and situations mHealth is needed, what technologies are best suited, and how those technologies are accepted. To date, nearly 100 CHOP investigators are engaged in research developing and testing mobile health technology to improve the care of patients.

The mHealth Research Affinity Group (RAG) at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia is dedicated to fostering collaborative efforts to expand the capability to develop, test, integrate, and adapt mHealth tools and approaches for youth and their families. The membership includes those on the front-lines of this research and includes CHOP-based and other local researchers interested in or conducting mHealth research, as well as other stakeholders such as Information Services and Bioinformatics, digital health administration, and project leaders and coordinators. The membership from multiple disciplines and roles reflects the necessity of agile team science to develop, deploy, and test mobile technologies for improving health outcomes. To coalesce researchers and stakeholders to advance mHealth science, the RAG provides a forum for educational and networking opportunities to enhance knowledge of mHealth and develop potential collaborations both within and outside the CHOP and University of Pennsylvania campuses. In addition, the mHealth RAG serves as a critical liaison with the CHOP Research Institute, the Office of Digital Health, and hospital administration on the prioritization of resources to enhance and expand mHealth research and its implementation in clinical practice.