mHealth in the Pacific Rim: Leadership Through Technology-Based Interventions

  • Judith McCoolEmail author
  • Rosie Dobson
  • Elaine Umali
  • Linda Cameron
  • Robyn Whittaker


This chapter describes how mobile health-based initiatives contribute to improving health outcomes in the Asia Pacific region. Their design, adaptation, and implementation provide examples of how leadership in innovation is key to delivering sustainable, meaningful programs. When viewed as contribution to achieving universal health coverage, particularly in low-resourced environments, mHealth initiatives are potentially low-cost, high-impact interventions. This chapter describes three mHealth initiatives in the Pacific Rim including (1) a healthy diet program for Hispanic populations in the United States, (2) a smoking cessation program for Samoa, and (3) a maternal health information program for multiple minority population families in New Zealand. Each intervention involved a process of adaption for target setting, involving multiple stakeholders, key community members, and end-users. The process was iterative, involving a series of stages to ensure the text message tools had integrity and were effective. Adapting each initiative to the end-users’ needs and the health systems were essential to success. Leadership qualities demonstrated through these mHealth adaptations include the drive to innovate, early engagement across the key stakeholders groups (in particular end-users, the health agency, and telecommunications company), and a willingness to reflect on what worked, what didn’t, and to try again.


mHealth Culture Adaption Text message Mobile phone 


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Judith McCool
    • 1
    Email author
  • Rosie Dobson
    • 2
  • Elaine Umali
    • 3
  • Linda Cameron
    • 4
  • Robyn Whittaker
    • 2
  1. 1.School of Population HealthUniversity of AucklandAucklandNew Zealand
  2. 2.National Institute for Health InnovationUniversity of AucklandAucklandNew Zealand
  3. 3.University of AucklandAucklandNew Zealand
  4. 4.Department of PsychologyUniversity of CaliforniaMercedUSA

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