Editorials

Mobile phone messaging to improve health

BMJ 2014; 349 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.g6158 (Published 24 October 2014) Cite this as: BMJ 2014;349:g6158
  1. Kanav Kahol, head of division
  1. 1Division of Affordable Health Technologies, Public Health Foundation of India, C11 Qutub Institutional Area, New Delhi 110016, India
  1. Kanav.kahol{at}phfi.org

We still have a lot to learn about what makes it work

Mobile technologies are fascinating. In the past two decades, our lives have been transformed by mobile services that not only allow us to get connectivity anywhere anytime but also allow us to ease our lives in an unprecedented manner. There are many successes in the mobile technologies space. Google Android, Facebook, WhatsAPP, and Instagram are some of the examples of companies and efforts that got it right. However, behind every success there are several failures. These failures do not attract the same global media attention as the successes, but they provide an important insight into what makes certain efforts successful and others not so successful. It is imperative for us to analyse objectively both successes and failures and the reasons behind them so we can improve existing methodologies and approaches.

The linked study by Shet and colleagues (doi:10.1136/bmj.g5978) is an important evaluation of the use of mobile phone messaging to improve adherence to HIV treatments and decrease virological failure.1 The paper details a randomised controlled trial …

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