mHealth Training Institute

mHealth Training Institute

Advancing mHealth researchers with transdisciplinary expertise for practical healthcare solutions

The NIH mHealth Training Institute (mHTI) was created to serve as an incubator for developing transdisciplinary scientists capable of co-creating mHealth solutions for “wicked” healthcare problems. Funded through a competitive renewal (OBSSR/ODP/NIDA: 5 R25 DAO38167), Version 2.0 of the mHTI builds on the experiences of earlier mHTIs and the feedback of its graduates. The annual institute identifies academic unicorns – from disciplines ranging from medicine and psychology to computer science and biomedical engineering – with an aptitude for interdisciplinarity and a passion for translational research with societal impact.

Through a week-long workshop, the mHTI helps the selected scholars develop a shared vocabulary and conceptual framework, acquire core domain expertise in latest mHealth technologies and methodologies, and get practical experience in cross-disciplinary mHealth innovation. A major focus is the advancement of team science skills and the soft skills required to develop them into influential nodes in an expanding collaborative network of catalyst mHealth researchers linked to national funding systems. Beyond the NIH, the mHTI is supported by the generous contributions of a core group of faculty thought-leaders with extensive teaching priors and a deep commitment to educating the next generation of diverse mHealth scientists. Synergistic partnerships with the mHealth Center for Discovery, Optimization & Translation of Temporally-Precise Interventions (mDOT) and the CERES Collaborative augment and sustain its educational efforts. An anchoring logic model for the educational activities and independent evaluations by UCLA’s Center for Research on Evaluation, Standards, and Student Testing (CRESST) ensures that the educational program remains cutting-edge and impactful within the rapidly transforming healthcare landscape. Alumni of previous mHTIs are actively transforming the mHealth research programs on their home campuses and many have become trailblazers integrating mHealth into healthcare delivery.

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Over the past six mHTIs, about 55 institutions from across the United States have sent 162 faculty and future faculty for training. The overwhelming majority of surveyed alumni report that the mHTI training has impacted them in the following ways:

  • increased core competencies in cutting edge mHealth methodologies and technologies;
  • deepened understanding and appreciation of diverse disciplinary perspectives;
  • increased confidence and self-efficacy to initiate and sustain transdisciplinary mHealth-related collaborations; and
  • greatly expanded the size and disciplinary breadth of professional network.

Participant Testimonials

In all the conversations I have with scholars, I heard that this was a really valuable experience for them, and several of them have told me that this was one of the most valuable things they have done professionally in their careers.

mHTI Participant,
2021 mHTI

Coming into the institute, I felt very isolated at my home institution. I had very few collaborators in mHealth and very few mentors who had the knowledge I sought. After the institute, my eyes have been opened. […] Suddenly the research that I felt was impossible seems very possible.

mHTI Participant,
2020 mHTI

The interactions with the mentors was the best part of the institute for me. They answered many of the pressing questions I had as a young researcher starting their career. The presentations about funding, building collaborations with folks of different backgrounds, and finding and holding onto positions were extremely helpful.

mHTI Participant,
2019 mHTI

The ability to interact with different skill-sets but similar goals was invaluable. I have come to appreciate the diversity of backgrounds in the field of mHealth, and the necessity of different disciplines to form a successful mHealth team. In addition, the daily lectures were excellent - they covered a broad array of topics, but with the specificity that made them still useful.

mHTI Participant,
2018 mHTI

The exercise of looking at the problem from different angles and through different disciplinary lenses then bringing everything together under a cohesive problem statement while highlighting the expertise of the team to address the problem.

mHTI Participant,
2017 mHTI

Learn more about eligibility requirements and apply for the upcoming mHTI.

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