mHealth Research Group

Our Mission

To conduct rigorous research to support evidence-based mobile health (mHealth) programs for the improvement of global health.

Our Goals

  • Foster collaborative, interdisciplinary mHealth research activities
  • Create opportunities for students, staff and faculty to participate in interdisciplinary training in the area of mHealth
  • To understand the uptake and impact of mHealth interventions in a public health context

phone-716962_960_720-336x300mHealth, also known as mobile health, refers to the application of mobile technology for the provision of health care support to patients and care providers. Currently, there are more than 7 billion mobile phone subscriptions worldwide, 89% of whom live in developing countries. Thanks to the accessibility, portability, and timeliness of mobile phones, mHealth is increasingly being harnessed to improve access, engagement and delivery of health services. Integrating mHealth interventions into existing halth care systems is also considered a cost-effective solution to provide health support to even the most disadvantaged and remote populations. Applications include education and awareness, diagnostic and treatment support, remote data collection, patient monitoring, healthcare worker telecommunication, training and disease management.

UBC mHealth Research Group

The UBC mHealth Research Group, led by Dr. Richard Lester, is dedicated to investigating the efficacy, effectiveness and implementation of mobile health across a variety of disease and demographic settings. Our group is currently conducting research within British Columbia, Saskatchewan, Toronto, Kenya and Ethiopia.


WelTel International

WelTel International is a non-profit organization, originating in Kenya, with headquarters in both Nairobi and British Columbia, Canada. WelTel is committed to providing evidence-based, patient-centred health solutions, through the use of mobile phone technologies such as low-cost SMS (text messaging) for the management of HIV/AIDS, TB, MNCH, PMTCT, immunization and other health issues. WelTel, with the help of Grand Challenges Canada and Amref Health Africa, is currently scaling-up its proven innovation┬╣ throughout the Northern and Arid Lands of Kenya, and will be testing the launch of its mHealth service delivery model and SMS software platform at several clinical sites in various and distinct regions, all the while exploring sustainable business opportunities to further advance its health delivery model.


┬╣Notice: The technology platform (WelTel/SMS) has been developed by a non-profit organization and a private company. Dr. Richard Lester has financial as well as professional interests in both organizations. You are entitled to ask for more information about this potential for benefit from Dr. Lester. For inquiries, please contact