The strategy of using cell phones and texts to nudge people toward healthier decisions makes a lot of sense. But as L.A. Times' Eryn Brown discovered in reporting her series on "m-health," the promise of these programs is still far ahead of the reality.
Citing successes using cellphones to monitor health in remote corners of Africa and Asia, where mobile networks can be easier to come by than landlines, many people hope mobile technology can bolster the health of rural Americans. But challenges abound.
Researchers and advocates for underserved, hard-to-reach patient groups are betting that health programs on mobile phones will soon usher in major advances in the treatment of diabetes, heart disease and other chronic conditions.
One evening, a group of researchers hit the club-filled streets of West Hollywood with a specific goal: Find young black men, gay and bisexual, willing to participate in a study on how smartphone apps can help improve overall health and combat diseases such as AIDS and diabetes.
We all love firing up our cellphones to write a text or a tweet, or maybe to engage in a quick game of Candy Crush. But could we turn to the tiny glowing screens to get healthier, too?