ARE SMARTPHONES THE ANSWER TO PUBLIC HEALTH SURVEYS?

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Two prominent US public health organisations think they may be. The National Centre for Chronic Disease Prevention and the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have jointly announced a project proposal to collect population health data via smartphones and investigate if it will help make health data quicker and easier to collect, and more accessible to the community.

The CDC says, "New mobile communications technologies provide a unique opportunity for innovation in public health surveillance.” The CDC has previously acknowledged the potential for smartphones to impact on public health, with the former Director of the National Center for Health Marketing Dr. Jay M. Bernhardt saying in 2009, “Mobile communications is absolutely going to revolutionize not just health communications, not just public health, but, I believe, health in general.”

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