Mobile Media & Communication
Archana Krishnan* and Claire Cravero
Mobile technology shows great promise in resource-limited settings due to its low cost and pervasive nature. Early evidence-based studies have shown robust support for mHealth interventions implemented among people living with HIV (PLWH); however, this type of inquiry is lacking amongst the most vulnerable groups of PLWH such as men who have sex with men (MSM), prisoners, and those facing substance use disorders (SUDS) and structural instabilities. These populations face barriers more profound than the general PLWH population including social stigma and discrimination. In response to the lack of rigorous evaluation of mHealth implementation and the tremendous potential for mHealth tools in underserved PLWH, we propose a 3-pronged approach in rooting mHealth tools using evidence-based methodology—(a) assessing mHealth feasibility and accessibility through descriptive studies, (b) conducting pilot projects testing mHealth tools, and (c) integrating mHealth tools into existing large-scale studies. The set of research steps proffered here aims to build a solid body of evidence on mHealth interventions among underserved populations and the health conditions that disproportionately affect them.
* Denotes CSDA Associates, Affiliates, and Staff