Randomised controlled trials as a method of evaluating mobile health interventions

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Dick, Samantha
O'Connor, Yvonne
Heavin, Ciara
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With the momentum around the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), more recently the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), there is a steady increase in the number of mobile health (mHealth) pilots, feasibility studies and randomised controlled trials (RCTs) used to evaluate the potential for mHealth in developing countries. Recent research indicates the need for more robust ways of evaluating and measuring mHealth in order to truly understand the tangible benefits, and to better plan for, wide scale mHealth roll-out and implementation. In a number of large funded mHealth projects in Africa, RCTs have been selected as a means of assessing mHealth. However, there remains a dearth of research to support the selection of RCTs as a means of evaluating mHealth. The objective of this research is to investigate RCTs as a method of evaluating mobile health interventions in developing countries. Using a qualitative analysis approach, this study aims to explore the challenges associated with pursuing an RCT for the evaluation of mHealth in Malawi, Africa. Following this, as part of the wider study a checklist of factors will be proposed as a means of determining the suitability (or lack thereof) of RCTs as a means of mHealth evaluation.
mobile health , mHealth , Randomised controlled trials (RCTs) , Evaluation , Developing countries.
Dick, S., O' Connor, Y. and Heavin, C. (2017) 'Randomised Controlled Trials as a Method of Evaluating Mobile Health Interventions', in Proceedings of the 25th European Conference on Information Systems (ECIS 2017), 5-10 June Guimarães, Portugal, pp. 2721-2731. ISBN 978-0-9915567-0-0 Research-in-Progress Papers, available online: http://aisel.aisnet.org/ecis2017_rip/23
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