Many current global health opportunities have less to do with new biomedical knowledge than with the coordination and delivery of care. While basic research remains vital, the growing cancer epidemic in countries of low and middle income warrants urgent action - focusing on both research and service delivery innovation. Mobile technology can reduce costs, improve access to health services, and strengthen health systems to meet the interrelated challenges of cancer and other noncommunicable diseases. Experience has shown that even very poor and remote communities that only have basic primary health care can benefit from mobile health (or 'mHealth') interventions. We argue that cancer researchers and practitioners have an opportunity to leverage mHealth technologies that have successfully targeted other health conditions, rather than reinventing these tools. We call for particular attention to human centred design approaches for adapting existing technologies to suit distinctive aspects of cancer care and to align delivery with local context - and we make a number of recommendations for integrating mHealth delivery research with the work of designers, engineers and implementers in large-scale delivery programmes.
Keywords: cancer; community health workers; delivery research; developing countries; global health; human centred design; innovation; low income countries; mHealth; mobile health; primary care, eHealth; service delivery; service delivery innovation; technology.
© 2014 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.