The role of the mHIFA Working Group is to convene, to promote discussion and debate, to assess progress, and to advocate for change towards the mHIFA goal:
By 2017 at least one mobile network operator or mobile handset manufacturer, in at least one low- or middle-income country, will provide access to essential health information for direct use by citizens and free of any charges.
1. "access" implies that the information is available to citizens 24/7. In practice, this is likely to mean that the information may be pre-loaded onto handsets before sale and/or or may be loaded onto a micro SD card or smartphone after sale.
2. "free" of charge means that the information is totally free to view and download, apart possibly from data usage charges (free data coection is desirable but is not a prerequisite.)"
3. "essential health information" means practical guidance for a wide range of healthcare situations commonly experienced in low-resource settings (eg common childhood illnesses, complications of pregnancy and childbirth, and first aid), as well as health education (eg promotion of healthy behaviour, nutrition practices). Information should be in a language and format that is readily understood, even for those who are illiterate.
4. It is recognised that (a) some aspects of the mHIFA goal are already a reality. For example, audio/video content on nutrition is already available (or soon will be) to a majority of the population of India, (b) progress towards the mHIFA goal is likely to be incremental and what is important is to accelerate and monitor such progress, and (c) the mHIFA Working Group will continue to lead the HIFA community in the progressive realisation of the goal.