Online Program

Mobile Technologies for Public Health: Online Learning for High School and Undergraduate Students

Monday, November 2, 2015

Diana M. Kingsbury, MA, MPH, College of Public Health, Department of Social and Behavioral Sciences, Kent State University, Kent, OH
Carissa Smock, MPH, PhD Candidate, College of Public Health, Kent State University, Kent, OH
Marissa Bland, BA, Kent State University, Kent, OH
Ken Slenkovich, MA, Kent State University, Kent, OH
An estimated 40,000 plus health-related mobile applications are available to consumers with more in various stages of development. Mobile technology can play a role within public health and it is important that the field evolve to incorporate such tools within the health behavior change repertoire. In order to train the future public health workforce, there is a need to introduce students to how these tools can be used to address public health problems.

During the summer of 2014, an online program was launched through the (blinded for review). Program content included an introduction to the field of public health, the basics of mobile application development, as well as how mobile technology can be used to address public health problems. Program participants were instructed to design a mock mobile application that could address a public health problem of their choice. Overarching program goals were to introduce high school age participants (14 – 18 year olds) to public health as a potential course of study and/or career path.

A limitation of the summer program was a low number of participants. The program was expanded and incorporated into an “Exploring Careers in Public Health” course in the fall, 2014 to include undergraduates and to determine the applicability of such material at the college-level.  Overall, participants at both the high school and undergraduate levels reported a favorable impression of the use of mobile technologies within public health and expressed interest in public health as a possible major or career.

Learning Areas:

Communication and informatics
Public health or related education

Learning Objectives:
Describe the development of an educational program to teach young adults about the use of mobile technology in public health and the basics of mobile application ("app") development

Keyword(s): Public Health Curricula & Competencies, Technology

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I was responsible for the development and execution of the educational program on which I am presenting.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.