Updating Mobile Technology for LMICs

NIH’s Funding Notice posted November 30, 2017 titled “Mobile Health: Technology and Outcomes in Low and Middle Income Countries” (LMIC) proposes to develop, upgrade, or adapt mobile health technology for countries in need of improved mHealth technology.

In general, mHealth applications and devices developed for high income countries are not necessarily suitable for individuals in LMICs. The potential of mHealth is important for people living in LMICs, since cell phone ownership is rising rapidly, access to healthcare and providers is often limited, and there is a need to do research related to developing more effective mobile phones.

In addition, health policies are not always clear, high operating costs exist, there is a lack of data regarding cost effectiveness, and LMICs do not always have a telecommunications infrastructure that is specifically needed in low income countries.

The goal is to use mHealth to determine health-related outcomes utilizing technology. Interest is centered on well-designed multidisciplinary projects to generate valuable knowledge for the field that will contribute to the use of mobile technology to improve clinical outcomes and public health and to build research capacity in LMICs.

Applicants may request up to $125,000 direct costs per year and when responding should consider:

  • Developing the mHealth intervention or tool used to produce a specific clinical outcome. Applicants need to incorporate appropriate biological endpoints and behavioral data to measure the outcome
  • If the intervention aims to produce behavior change then this change should be based on existing social and behavioral science theories
  • Having the interventions or tools take into consideration the unique functionality of mobile and wireless devices
  • Making real-time data collection and feedback available where appropriate
  • Providing new interoperable software, devices and systems with existing infrastructure.
  • Providing data that can be integrated with relevant health information systems where applicable
  • Studying the reliability, safety, simplicity, affordability, and power requirements for new technology as it pertains to LMIC countries


The mHealth technology that is developed or adapted in proposed projects may include external hardware and/or software components for mobile or wireless devices.

Eligible applicants may include higher education institutions, nonprofits, for-profit organizations, small businesses, and non-domestic entities. The application for the proposed project is due August 31, 2018

Go to https://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/pa-files/PAR-18-242.html for more information on the Funding Opportunity Announcement Number (PAR-18-242).

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