Lisa Wehr's Public Health Blog

Lisa is originally from Sigourney, Iowa. She attended Iowa State University and received her bachelor’s degree in Music in 2010. She is currently a first year Master’s of Public Health (MPH) student in community and behavioral health (CBH). Lisa works on the medicine-psychiatry unit at the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics (UIHC). Through this blog Lisa hopes to let people learn about the CBH department.

This student blog is unedited and does not necessarily reflect the views of the College of Public Health or the University of Iowa.

13 December 2011

Mobile Health

After writing my post about twitter I got to thinking about other ways mobile devices (namely a smartphone and ipad) had changed how I consume information...particularly in the realm of health.

A smartphone really was the turning point in my twitter usage. Following a significant number of feeds while only checking on it once or twice a day in a browser is not pleasant and I definitely don't have the attention span to read several hundred tweets (honestly, I don't even have the attention span to write an entire blog post). However, on my phone one touch, a couple swipes, and I've read my tweets. The time required is minimal and my phone is always with me so I check it multiple times a day.

But twitter isn't all that my phone/ipad have changed. I have become somewhat of a blog fanatic because now I no longer have to go to a zillion different blog sites, or even to google reader. I pull up the app on my phone and everything is right there whether I have time to read one post or twenty. (I think I will dedicate a different post to the public health blogs I watch)

And there are several dedicated apps that are amazing for public health. Harvard School of Public Health has an incredible app. It combines official news stories, tweets, videos, podcasts, pictures, an events calendar, a community section where app users can post and interact with each other, links, and more!

The apps have grown more slowly than twitter accounts or blogs, and are dominated by the medical field (although as I said before, don't rule out anything because it's not strictly public health). I'm sure much of this is because of the time and effort required to make a functional app. But there are a couple.

  • HealthMap: Outbreaks Near Me--the mobile extension of
  • Government Health News--news from U.S. government agencies related to health
  • This Is Public Health--just fun. Take photos with your phone and virtually add the "this is public health" sticker to them. 
Some that are in the medical realm but could easily be used with a public health bend are ones that illustrate surgical procedures, give vaccination schedules, provide disease/medication information, and assist with medical Spanish.

And there are countless apps for the health consumer. Ones for weight loss, exercise, medications, medical records, disease management.

Mobile devices could be the next rising face of public health.

1 comment:

  1. Interesting text. There are a lot of speculations about mobile health.