Mobile health (mHealth) for mental health in Asia: objectives, strategies, and limitations

Asian J Psychiatr. 2014 Aug;10:96-100. doi: 10.1016/j.ajp.2014.04.006. Epub 2014 Apr 27.


Mobile technologies are transforming the way in which we interact with one another, access resources, find information, and conduct business around the world. Harnessing the capabilities of mobile technologies to support health care initiatives worldwide has developed into a new interdisciplinary field called mobile health (mHealth). In the current paper, we review the penetration of mobile technology in Asia, and consider the integration of mobile technologies into the study, diagnoses, and treatment of mental disorders in the region. We outline how mHealth programs could improve mental health literacy, provide greater access to mental health services, extend community-based outreach and engagement, support self-management of illness, and regulate medication distribution. We end with a consideration of the potential barriers and limitations of mHealth for mental health, including funding, language and literacy barriers, power supply considerations, data security, and privacy issues.

Keywords: Health technology; Mental health Asia; Mobile health; Smartphone; e-Health; mHealth.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Asia
  • Cell Phone*
  • Health Literacy*
  • Humans
  • Mental Disorders / diagnosis
  • Mental Disorders / therapy*
  • Mental Health Services
  • Mental Health*
  • Self Care
  • Telemedicine*