Kim helps lay foundation for emerging mHealth technology in Africa

Young Kim, associate professor with the Weldon School of Biomedical Engineering at Purdue University, is helping to lay the groundwork for emerging global mobile health (mHealth) technologies. mHealth includes the use of mobile and wireless devices (cellphones, tablets, etc.) to improve point-of-care diagnosis, health outcomes, health care services and health research.
Young Kim (front row, far left), associate professor with the Weldon School of Biomedical Engineering, and a cohort of faculty members and African scholars who participated in the Africa mHealth Research Institute in Kenya in July 2019.

Kim was in a cohort of nine faculty members representing Purdue, Vanderbilt University Medical Center, and Moi University in Kenya that collectively offered the Africa mHealth Research Institute, a one-week NIH-supported training workshop in Nairobi, Kenya, July 22 – 26, 2019.  This workshop was one of the first dedicated mHealth training institutes within low- and middle-income countries (LMIC).   

Thirty-five scholars selected from eight African countries learned a rigorous empirical and theoretic foundation to better prepare for exploratory and developmental research to develop or adapt innovative mHealth technology. The cohort of researchers from diverse fields will lay the groundwork for future mHealth research projects and begin to build the evidence base for the use of mobile technologies among LMICs and US institutions to improve clinical outcomes and public health. 

Young Kim (front row, third from left) and a cohort of faculty members who offered the Africa mHealth Research Institute in Kenya.

By combining data-driven technologies and data analytics, creative use and implementation of new mHealth has the potential to improve disease diagnosis, prevention, treatment, and management in developing and developed countries.   This network in sub-Saharan Africa will also be an asset for US investigators to establish immediate collaborations and to advance mHealth research and technology development.  

The workshop was supported by NIH Fogarty International Center via a supplemental grant related to Kim’s ongoing development of a device called sHEA—smartphone-based bloodless spectrometerless HEemoglobin Analyzer.