A report by Lisa Cisneros, editor-in-chief of Web Communications in University Relations at UCSF:
The XIX International AIDS Conference wraps up tomorrow and the plethora of news over the week-long meeting has been fascinating.
On Wednesday, UCSF’s Deborah Cohan wrote about UNICEF Deputy Executive Director’s Geeta Rao Gupta’s five-step plan to halt the disease among women and children. One of them calls for “investment in innovative programs that use social media and technology to reduce the risk of social isolation and increase access to evidence-based services such as HIV testing.” Read her entire post here.
The AIDS 2012 conference devoted a session on Wednesday to the topic, mHealth 101: An Introduction to Mobile Technologies for HIV/AIDS Programs.” Speakers explored the “uses of mobile phones in HIV interventions, including supporting adherence to medication regimes; patient follow-up; social networking to encourage dialogue around love, sex and relationships; prevention through health messaging; referrals; data collection and analysis; and clinical decision support.” Read more about the speakers and view their PowerPoint presentations here.
Today, Washington Post reporter Dominic Basulto writes that a cure for AIDS may come via a mobile phone – with an app that can help turn the tide through education and outreach in resource-poor areas like Africa.
Basulto reports that health professionals and non-governmental organization leaders are “already starting to see how mobile health innovations can lead to new breakthroughs in the fight against HIV/AIDS.”
UNAIDS Executive Director Michel Sidibé says, “The potential of social media and mobile technologies to re-energize the AIDS movement is clear. We need nothing less than an HIV prevention revolution, with social media and mobile technology at its core.”
UCSF, home to some of the world’s leading experts in HIV/AIDS, is working on several projects that aim to harness the growing power and pervasiveness of mobile computing in an effort to improve health outcomes and/or lower barriers to accessing health knowledge.
Steve Tokar, communications representative at the San Francisco Veterans Affairs Medical Center, wrote about an effort to develop a mobile application that can rapidly identify pills based on color, shape, and imprint. The project has received a significant boost from the T1 Catalyst Mobile Health Translational Project Award offered by the Clinical and Translational Science Institute (CTSI) at UCSF.
Maybe an AIDS app is next on the to-do list in UCSF’s expanding Mobile Health initiatives.
Read Basulto’s full story on the Washington Post website.