Post imageThe fifth annual mHealth Summit kicks off this week at the National Harbor in Maryland. This four-day conference will convene more than 5,000 participants from all over the world to spark new ideas and dialogue about advancing the use of mobile technology to improve health outcomes. As an organizing partner of the Summit, the mHealth Alliance introduced the first-ever Global Health Track in 2012, a session which highlightedmHealth efforts in low- and middle-income countries. For this year’s Global Health Track, the Alliance has developed a collection of six cross-cutting sessions that will address the challenges and lessons learned throughmHealth projects aimed at improving the health and wellbeing of some of the world’s most vulnerable populations. The Summit program also offers three additional side sessions focused on global health topics, curated by the Alliance.

In addition to marking the fifth mHealth Summit, the mHealth Alliance will also celebrate its five-year anniversary this week. As part of this celebration, the Alliance will award the first ever Holly Ladd mHealth Pioneer Award and the mHealth Alliance Collaboration Award at a dinner for key partners and mHealth stakeholders on Monday evening. On Tuesday, the Alliance and partners, including Johnson & Johnson, HIMSS, and MAMA, will also host the mHealth+SocialGood event, which will bring mHealth visionaries together to discuss the future ofmHealth leading up to 2015 – the target date for the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) – and beyond. A live stream of this event will be available for a global audience via The online mHealthcommunity can get involved by tweeting their vision for the future of mHealth, as well questions for themHealth+SocialGood participants, using #mHealth13 and #socialgood.

The mHealth Summit falls at a critical moment for the field of mHealth, with less than 800 days left to achieve the MDGs. Now is the time to consider the best ways to leverage mobile technology in the final push to reaching critical development milestones. Additionally, it will be vital to ensure that mobile technology has a place in the post-2015 development agenda, which the international community is already moving forward under the leadership of the United Nations. The mHealth Alliance recently announced its intention to relocate to the Global South in 2014, in order to capitalize on the momentum to reach the MDGs and also to maximize its impact on bringing mHealth to scale in developing countries. The mHealth Summit provides a unique opportunity to convene the mHealth community to discuss not only the Alliance’s future move to South Africa, but also the priorities and opportunities for the entire community going forward.

Follow @mHealthAlliance on Twitter to stay up-to-date on the summit, and join the conversation using #mHealth13 and #socialgood!