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Keywords:

  • cellular phones;
  • mHealth;
  • global health;
  • international health;
  • midwifery education;
  • midwifery workforce;
  • patient education;
  • preventive health care;
  • public health;
  • telemedicine;
  • vulnerable populations

The use of mobile phones has grown exponentially in the last decade including in some of the most remote and low-resource regions of the world. With the geographic expansion of mobile phone use, information and communication technology for development (ICT4D) was born, and innovative uses for mobile technologies in various fields including health care have emerged. This use of mobile technology in health care is known as mHealth. mHealth interventions are being used internationally to improve maternal and child health. Be it the use of a mobile phone to call for emergency transport, remote consultation, or large-scale short message service (SMS)-based community education programs, mHealth is demonstrating its utility in reproductive health programs throughout the world. This article describes the evolution and challenges of mHealth, discusses the role of mHealth in achieving Millennium Development Goals 4 and 5, and addresses the potential impact of mHealth for midwives. mHealth represents a new area of global health that warrants the attention of midwifery advocates. Midwifery leadership in the field of mHealth at this early stage of its development will ensure future health programming that is relevant to the needs of women and the midwives who care for them.