[Skip to Content]
[Skip to Content Landing]
July 16, 2014

Newborn Health on the Line: The Potential mHealth Applications

Author Affiliations
  • 1Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Baltimore, Maryland

Copyright 2014 American Medical Association. All Rights Reserved. Applicable FARS/DFARS Restrictions Apply to Government Use.

JAMA. 2014;312(3):229-230. doi:10.1001/jama.2014.6371

Among the 75 countries with the highest burden of child deaths, 40% of such deaths occur during the neonatal period.1 Complications arising from preterm birth are now the leading cause of neonatal mortality worldwide. Despite significant survival gains in children younger than 5 years, reductions in newborn deaths continue to lag behind.1 The rapid proliferation of wireless communication in developing countries has led to the ubiquitous availability and use of mobile phones, even in remote, rural places where public health systems are struggling to gain ground. Does this new reality offer innovative mechanisms through which appropriate care can be delivered during the critical period around childbirth? Research is ongoing across a diverse mHealth space to define the extent to which extending access to information for mothers, improving the targeted delivery of timely care, and replacing inefficient data collection and response systems with real-time accountability can improve the fate of the 7.6 million children younger than 5 years who die each year.1