Leveraging Mobile Technology for Public Health Promotion: A Multidisciplinary Perspective

Annu Rev Public Health. 2023 Apr 3:44:131-150. doi: 10.1146/annurev-publhealth-060220-041643. Epub 2022 Dec 21.


Health behaviors are inextricably linked to health and well-being, yet issues such as physical inactivity and insufficient sleep remain significant global public health problems. Mobile technology-and the unprecedented scope and quantity of data it generates-has a promising but largely untapped potential to promote health behaviors at the individual and population levels. This perspective article provides multidisciplinary recommendations on the design and use of mobile technology, and the concomitant wealth of data, to promote behaviors that support overall health. Using physical activity as anexemplar health behavior, we review emerging strategies for health behavior change interventions. We describe progress on personalizing interventions to an individual and their social, cultural, and built environments, as well as on evaluating relationships between mobile technology data and health to establish evidence-based guidelines. In reviewing these strategies and highlighting directions for future research, we advance the use of theory-based, personalized, and human-centered approaches in promoting health behaviors.

Keywords: culturally relevant personalized medicine; digital health; health behavior change; physical activity; wearable sensors.

Publication types

  • Review
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Exercise
  • Health Behavior
  • Health Promotion*
  • Humans
  • Public Health*
  • Technology