This week The Aetna Foundation announced more than $1.2 million in grants to support the use of digital health technology, including mobile health or mHealth, among vulnerable and minority populations. The grants are part of a larger $4 million, three-year digital health commitment from the Aetna Foundation for the implementation and evaluation of technology innovations to help address public health concerns.
According to recent research from the Pew Research Center, 31 percent of cell phone owners used their phones to look for health information in 2012, up from 17 percent two years earlier. Latinos, African Americans and people between the ages of 18-49 are more likely than other groups to access health information on their mobile devices. Additional Pew Research also reveals that nearly a quarter of low-income adults in the U.S. own smartphones and regularly access the Internet on a mobile device.
My Healthy World, a program launched in Washington D.C., was one of the 23 organizations selected to receive a total of more than $1.2 million in grants from the Foundation.
To help combat the alarming rise in childhood obesity and Type 2 diabetes among youths, My Healthy World is an innovative app that was designed to help engage kids about health and wellness. The program has three basic 12-week courses – Live Health, Eat Health and Stay Healthy – and is part of the classroom curriculum. Unlike other health and fitness apps my health world is geared towards kids and families so it provides structure where families can work on things and make changes.
“Disparities in health care and limited access to preventive services are an unfortunate reality impacting the most vulnerable populations in our country today. However, we believe that digital health technology can serve as a powerful equalizer for improving health education and access to care among minority and low-income communities by reaching people where they are spending time – at school, at church, in their neighborhoods and on-the-go with real-time solutions that easily fit into their daily lives,” said Garth Graham, M.D., M.P.H., president of the Aetna Foundation. “By supporting technology that can empower individuals with the convenience and control to meet their personal health and wellness goals, the Aetna Foundation is working to build healthier communities, a healthier nation and a healthier world.”
By leveraging the power of digital health technology, the Aetna Foundation is working to further its overall goal to improve health in vulnerable and minority communities. To learn more about the Aetna Foundation’s Digital Health Initiative and tangible ways your organization can benefit from their digital health innovations commitment, visithttp://bit.ly/1fY2VQ7 or join the digital health conversation on Twitter with #digitalhealth.