Use of mobile applications in Public Health: can they make a difference?

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We have already talked about social media in Public Health. Now it is time to see the newest ways to access Public Health related information using platforms other than our computers. The rise of mobile internet devices is apparent all over the western world: different mobile phones and tablest provide access to literally everything and literally everywhere, via different applications! Quick. Easy. Fun.

Contrary to what these kind of applications might lead you to believe, it is not all about killing time or having fun. People turn to mobile devices to stay informed, learn new things and make their busy lives easier! Like with other media of our times, some Public Helah institutions have realised the potential behind reaching people on the go and have developed applications for mobile devices. Here is an introductory list, focusing mainly on applications that offer information. I will come back with a post about action-orientated applications later on…

 

  • NICE have developed a Guidance application for smartphones. Users can have access to more than 760 of NICE guidelines, carranged by conditions, diseases and public health topics. The user can change the font size, swap between chapters and get updates with new guidelines.  The application comes for free and NICE say it is their first on a series of scheduled applications, including medicine and prescription information.

 

 

  • The CDC (which is quite active when it comes to using new technology for their purposes) are offering for free the CDC Mobile iPAD application. This application is more like a portal, that gives you access to a variery of information: from journal articles and social media to podacasts and information on public health issues.
  • The Harvard Shcool of Public Health , has also released a mobile application, which is available for free. This application offers  news stories, press releases, videos, podcasts and a message boards and aims to make its users stay up to date with PH news and connect between each other.

Have you used any mobile application focusing on PH information? What did you think about them? Do you have any suggestions for our readers?

 

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