UCSF to Host Mobile Health Forum Today

By Shipra Shukla

To examine how mobile technology can better address long-standing health problems in developing countries, UCSF is bringing together a group of leaders in technology, philanthropy and global health on today (May 22).

More than 100 participants from industry, philanthropy, non-governmental organizations and universities are attending the event at UCSF Mission Bay.

The Mobile Health (mHealth) Forum is the first in a series sponsored by UCSF Global Health Sciences, the Vodafone Foundation and United Nations Foundation Technology Partnership, Cisco, Inc., NetHope and UC Berkeley College of Engineering.

James Kahn, MD, professor in the UCSF School of Medicine, will deliver the welcome address and introduction. Kahn has been working with Lauri Medeiros, director of UCSF Corporate and Foundation Relations, among others, to convene the first in a series of five events planned over the next year. 
“Mobile tools help to create and enhance person-to-person connections that build communities,” says Kahn. “UCSF is a leader in global health, so we need to be a leader in mHealth.”

Mobile phones are the most prevalent form of communication in developing countries. The United Nations Foundation sees wireless technology as a key part in finding solutions to many complex health challenges. UCSF, along with leading Silicon Valley technology companies, are seen as crucial experts in a partnership that hopes to bring about sustainable health improvements.

“By partnering with a world renowned academic and research institute like UCSF, we are placing the mHealth Forum in an environment that will be intellectually stimulating and help seed multi-sector partnerships,” said Mitul Shah, MBA, senior director of technology partnerships at the United Nations Foundation. “It is these partnerships that help drive cutting-edge uses of mobile technology in support of improved health outcomes.”

The lead keynote speaker of the event is Chris Thomas, chief strategist of Intel’s World Ahead. Thomas will begin his talk by defining mobility across platforms and establishing that mobile technology encompasses far more than just mobile phones.

Outcomes from today’s event at UCSF Mission Bay will be further discussed at the next forum taking place at Intel in September.

Related Links:

Mobile technology forum explores solutions for global health
UCSF News Release, May 19, 2009

UN Foundation Technology Partnership

UCSF Global Health Sciences