Media Advisory

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

mHealth has great potential, but needs a rigorous scientific foundation

Dr. Robert M. Kaplan discusses how to move from hype to real scientific value.


Dr. Robert M. Kaplan, director of NIH’s Office of Behavioral and Social Sciences Research is available to discuss how we can move mobile health past hype to real scientific value.


The American Journal of Preventive Medicine features a paper highlighting the results of NIH’s mHealth Evidence Workshop.

NIH, in partnership with the National Science Foundation, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and McKesson gathered 50 researchers, policymakers, government and regulatory officials from around the world at this meeting.


There is a lot of excitement around the use of new mobile and wearable health information and sensing technologies and their potential to enhance health research, improve health, while also reducing the cost of health care. However, strong scientific research is needed to examine their potential and challenges of their use.

Dr. Kaplan can discuss:

  • How can we address the sparse evidence base for the efficacy of mHealth while keeping pace with the rapid growth of technology?
  • How can we best establish the reliability and validity of mHealth assessment methods?
  • Should randomized clinical trials remain the gold standard for evaluating mhealth interventions?

Additional Information

The Office of Behavioral and Social Sciences Research (OBSSR) opened officially on July 1, 1995. The U.S. Congress established the Office of Behavioral and Social Sciences Research (OBSSR) in the Office of the Director, NIH, in recognition of the key role that behavioral and social factors often play in illness and health. The OBSSR mission is to stimulate behavioral and social sciences research throughout NIH and to integrate these improving our understanding, treatment, and prevention of disease. For more information, please visit

About the National Institutes of Health (NIH): NIH, the nation's medical research agency, includes 27 Institutes and Centers and is a component of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. NIH is the primary federal agency conducting and supporting basic, clinical, and translational medical research, and is investigating the causes, treatments, and cures for both common and rare diseases. For more information about NIH and its programs, visit

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