Mobile health or mHealth is part of a movement towards citizen-centered health services delivered through cellular technologies. Mobile phones in particular are becoming a first line of defense against emerging infectious diseases by keeping healthcare practitioners and the public informed about outbreaks. For individuals mHealth technologies can provide real-time monitoring of vital signs and even deliver treatment services in the form of risk assessments, medication regimens and doctor appointment reminders. In addition, this new technology also has the potential to supply researchers and public health officials with up-to-date community and clinical health data.

In episode 34 of MicrobeWorld Video, we talk with William Warshauer about the work he's doing with Voxiva, a company that specializes in interactive mobile health information services. By leveraging the web, email, text messaging, interactive voice response systems and smart phone apps, he hopes to stay one step ahead of infectious disease outbreaks wherever they may occur.

We also speak with Amy Sonricker from Healthmap.org about their unique web interface and iPhone application that allows for real-time viewing and reporting of disease-related events around the globe.

This episode of MicrobeWorld Video was filmed in October 2009 at the Marian Koshland Science Museum in Washington, D.C., at one of their frequent events for the public.

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