Using Mobile Health (mHealth) Technology in the Management of Diabetes Mellitus, Physical Inactivity, and Smoking

Hasan Rehman, Ayeesha K. Kamal, Saleem Sayani, Pamela B. Morris, Anwar T. Merchant, Salim S. Virani

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

34 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose of Review: Cardiovascular mortality remains high due to insufficient progress made in managing cardiovascular risk factors such as diabetes mellitus, physical inactivity, and smoking. Healthy lifestyle choices play an important role in the management of these modifiable risk factors. Mobile health or mHealth is defined as the use of mobile computing and communication technologies (i.e., mobile phones, wearable sensors) for the delivery of health services and health-related information. In this review, we examine some recent studies that utilized mHealth tools to improve management of these risk factors, with examples from developing countries where available. Recent Findings: The mHealth intervention used depends on the availability of resources. While developing countries are often restricted to text messages, more resourceful settings are shifting towards mobile phone applications and wearable technology. Diabetes mellitus has been extensively studied in different settings, and results have been encouraging. Tools utilized to increase physical activity are expensive, and studies have been limited to resource-abundant areas and have shown mixed results. Smoking cessation has had promising initial results with the use of technology, but mHealth’s ability to recruit participants beyond those actively seeking to quit has not been established. Summary: mHealth interventions appear to be a potential tool in improving control of cardiovascular risk factors that rely on individuals making healthy lifestyle choices. Data related to clinical impact, if any, of commercially available tools is lacking. More studies are needed to assess interventions that target multiple cardiovascular risk factors and their impact on hard cardiovascular outcomes.

Original languageEnglish
Article number16
JournalCurrent Atherosclerosis Reports
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2017


  • Cardiovascular diseases
  • Diabetes mellitus
  • Mobile health
  • Physical inactivity
  • Smoking cessation
  • mHealth


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