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ONC Launches Qualitative Data Collection Approach for mHealth Initiative

November 2, 2011
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The Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology’s (ONC) Office of the Chief Privacy Officer plans to perform a project using a qualitative data collection approach to obtain in-depth information from mHealth users regarding privacy and security concerns with this technology and perspectives on potential safeguards.

mHealth refers to the use of mobile devices to communicate health information, and includes text messaging, email accessibility on the device, Skype, or the use of applications downloaded to the device. The ONC has made it an initiative to expand the use of the technologies. Several programs, such as The National Cancer Institute (NCI)’s SmokeFreeTXT initiative, have already been launched.

For this particular initiative, a series of focus groups will be held in a variety of geographic regions to look at the attitudes and perspectives of individuals across different populations.

The ONC has launched data initiatives in coordination with the mHealth program before. The Health Data initiative allows software developers to use collected health data to create new applications that will make health information increasingly useful for individuals and communities.

mHealth Initiatives can be found here: http://www.hhs.gov/open/initiatives/mhealth/projects.html

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