There is a great deal of excitement around the use of mobile technology to overcome infrastructural limitation across all fields — business, health, education, agriculture and governance. There is however a contrasting view that mobile services and mobile technology solutions are not yet validated sufficiently to merit their use in strengthening or replacing existing public health delivery programs, and have no standard operating systems. [adapted from abstract]
Utilization of Community-Based Health Information Systems in Decision Making and Health Action in Nyalenda, Kisumu County, Kenya
The purpose of this paper is to explore how data collected at the community level is utilised by various stakeholders within the community in order to produce actionable information for decision making. [from abstract]
Use of Mobile Phone Consultations During Home Visits by Community Health Workers for Maternal and Newborn Care: Community Experiences from Masindi and Kiryandongo Districts, Uganda
Home visits by Community Health Workers [In Uganda Community Health Workers are given the collective term of Village Health Teams (VHIs). This is recommended to improve maternal and newborn care. We investigated perceived maternal and newborn benefits of home visits made by VHTs, combined with mobile phone consultations with professional health workers for advice. [adapted from abstract]
Assessments of Health Services Availability in Humanitarian Emergencies: A Review of Assessments in Haiti and Sudan Using a Health Systems Approach
To improve the consistency of health facilities assessments, the World Health Organization has proposed the use of the Health Resources Availability Mapping System (HeRAMS) developed in Darfur, Sudan as a standardized assessment tool for use in future acute and protracted crises.This study provides an evaluation of HeRAMS’ comprehensiveness, and investigates the methods, quality and comprehensiveness of health facilities data and tools in Haiti, where HeRAMS was not used.
This guide that explains how mHealth serves newborn health through referral and tracking of mothers and infants, decision support for CHWs, CHW supervision, scheduling and tracking postpartum and postnatal visits, and teaching and counseling for mothers and families. Case studies are provided from Afghanistan, India, Malawi and Indonesia. Links to resources for planning, implementation and evaluation are included along with lessons learned across the case studies. [from abstract]
Does mHealth Contribute to Improved Care for People with Non-Communicable Diseases in Developing Countries? A Systematic Review of Randomized Controlled Trials
We review studies assessing the health-related impacts of mobile health (mHealth) on NCDs in low- and middle-income countries (LAMICs) with the aim of giving recommendations for their further development. [from introduction]
The field of mobile health (mHealth) is experiencing a real need for guidance on public–private partnerships
among players as diverse as the mobile industry, technology vendors, government stakeholders and mHealth service providers. This guide provides a practical resource for mHealth service providers (e.g.
Successful mLearning Pilot in Senegal: Delivering Family Planning Refresher Training Using Interactive Voice Response and SMS
Health workers’ knowledge of contraceptive side effects increased substantially after the refresher training. The mobile phone approach was convenient and flexible and did not disrupt routine service delivery. Clear limitations of the medium are participants can’t practice clinical skills or have interactive discussions. Also, some participants had trouble with network reception. [from abstract]
Evidence on Feasibility and Effective Use of mHealth Strategies by Frontline Health Workers in Developing Countries: Systematic Review
Given the large scale adoption and deployment of mobile phones by health services and frontline health workers (FHW), we aimed to review and synthesize the evidence on the feasibility and effectiveness of mobile-based services on healthcare delivery. [from abstract]
Geospatial Analysis in Global Health: A Monitoring and Evaluation Guide for Making Informed Decisions provides monitoring and evaluation (M&E) practitioners an overview of geospatial analysis techniques applicable to their work. This guide shows how geospatial analysis can be used to support public health program decision-making along with routine planning and M&E. [from abstract]
Mobile Technology for Monitoring and Evaluation and Health Information Systems in Low- to Middle-Income Countries
In many developing country settings, limited resources constrain the development and expansion of certain technology infrastructures — such as high-speed Internet — that could facilitate more efficient data collection and reporting in the health sector. Mobile technologies may offer an affordable alternative to (or alongside) other electronic health applications in many low-resource settings. In this paper, current uses of such mobile technologies in the developing world are discussed, and how these approaches can be applied to improve national monitoring and evaluation (M&E) systems.
The use of mHealth interventions withinin health systems research is increasing, with few taking into account the connections between gender and mHealth. This policy brief attempts to fill this gap by exploring key connections between mHealth and gender that need to be taken into account when conducting or implementing mHealth research and interventions.
Blindness and visual impairment continues to be a major public health problem in India. Availability and easy access to primary eye care services is essential for elimination of avoidable blindness. In the current situation, an integrated health care system with primary eye care promoted by government of India is apparently the best answer. This model is both cost effective and practical for the prevention and control of blindness among the underprivileged population. [from abstract]
Can Smartphones and Tablets Improve the Management of Childhood Illness in Tanzania? A Qualitative Study from a Primary Health Care Worker's Perspective
The impact of the Integrated Management of Childhood Illness (IMCI) strategy has been less than anticipated because of poor uptake. Electronic algorithms have the potential to improve quality of health care in children. However, feasibility studies about the use of electronic protocols on mobile devices over time are limited. This study investigated constraining as well as facilitating factors that influence the uptake of a new electronic Algorithm for
Management of Childhood Illness (ALMANACH) among primary health workers in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. [from abstract]
Preparing for the Data Revolution: Identifying Minimum Health Information Competencies Among the Health Workforce
Health information is required for a variety of purposes at all levels of a health system, and a workforce skilled in collecting, analysing, presenting, and disseminating such information is essential to fulfil these demands. While it is established that low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) are facing shortages in human resources for health (HRH), there has been little systematic attention focused on non-clinical competencies. In response, we developed a framework that defines the minimum health information competencies required by health workers at various levels of a health system.
Building Locally Relevant Models for Universal Health Coverage and its Implications for Health Information Systems: Some Reflections from India
This paper speaks to this agenda, and describes an ongoing pilot study from the state of Punjab in India with a focus on the implications of UHC models on HIS. Five key implications on HIS are identified: Expanding basket of services; Population basing of services; Ensuring continuity of care; Resource allocation choices; Monitoring financial protection and costs of care. [from abstract]
Developing a National E-Health Strategy for DR Congo: A Preliminary Analysis of Business Needs, Existing Information Systems and Solutions
A first part of the study consisted of a detailed analysis of regulatory documents and strategic plans related to the Congolese health system and health informatics development. In a second part, field visits and semi-structured interviews were organized with a representative sample of relevant health structures throughout the country. [from abstract]
This paper presents the study and analysis of some articles that were selected according to their potential contributions to the introduction of information technology (IT) in the Healthcare industry in West Africa. [from introduction]
The mHealth Compendiums document a range of mHealth applications being implemented primarily in Africa. This volume was published in November 2013 and is the third edition in the series. It contains twenty-four new case studies which document mHealth innovations, many of which seek to contribute to USAID’s two overarching objectives of eliminating preventable maternal, newborn and child deaths and achieving an AIDS free generation.
Mobile and wireless technologies assist health projects in accurately assessing the needs of a target population, collecting and disseminating relevant information, and delivering cost effective health services. [from introduction]
The Use of ICT Tools (Mobile Phones) to Improve Awareness of Pregnancy Danger Signs among Pregnant Women in Rural Communities of South Africa
he present study investigated awareness of pregnancy danger signs, symptoms and associated factors among a group of South African pregnant women attending prenatal care clinics in rural setting. [from abstract]
This paper employs a qualitative meta-analysis in unpacking the dynamism of intermediary practice in South Africa. The authors consider mobile application design in accessing and using health information. A number of critical design considerations are presented, including the role of context as a static and dynamic modality. The authors ultimately derive an information model, which assimilates four intersecting dimensions of context. [from abstract]
The mHealth Planning Guide: Key Considerations for Integrating Mobile Technology into Health Programs
The mHealth Planning Guide helps individuals and organizations appropriately plan for mHealth deployments. [from introduction]
Self-Directed e-Learning at a Tertiary Hospital in Malawi – A Qualitative Evaluation and Lessons Learnt
We have introduced an e-learning platform in the medical department of the Kamuzu Central Hospital (KCH) in Malawi. With the support of computer-assisted instruction, we aimed to improve the quality of medical training and education, as well as access to current medical materials, in particular for interns. From March to April 2012, we conducted a qualitative evaluation to assess relevance and appropriateness of the e-learning platform. Data was collected via face-to-face interviews, a guided group discussion and a checklist based observation log. [from abstract]
The following case study offers a look at some of these basic ingredients and approaches that can help to achieve both scale and sustainability in the African context. We focus in particular on how closing persistent gaps increases the likelihood of mainstreaming mHealth initiatives into health systems. [from introduction]
Design and Implementation of a Health Management Information System in Malawi: Issues, Innovations and Results
As in many developing countries, lack of reliable data and grossly inadequate appreciation and use of available information in planning and management of health services were two main weaknesses of the health information systems in Malawi. As a first step towards conceptualization and design of the system, a minimum set of indicators was identified and a strategy was formulated for establishing a system in the country. [from abstract]
Recording nursing reports is considered as a quality assurance tool for patients and nurses. Nowadays,the presence of electronic health record systems is an indicator of development. Studies on advantages and disadvantages of the electronic and manual recording methods have shown different results. In this study, electronic and manual recording of nursing reports were compared from the perspective of nurses. [from abstract]
Real-Time Assessments of the Strength of Program Implementation for Community Case Management of Childhood Illness: Validation of a Mobile Phone-Based Method in Malawi
Health surveillance assistants (HSAs) in Malawi have provided community case management (CCM) since 2008; however, program monitoring remains challenging. Mobile technology holds the potential to improve data, but rigorous assessments are few. This study tested the validity of collecting CCM implementation strength indicators through mobile phone interviews with HSAs. [from abstract]
In this paper, the authors discuss a mobile interactive messaging system that would enable patients to send preliminary symptoms to the health workers in public hospitals via SMS. The information gathered is stored in database residing at the health facility, which will serve as a reference point to the health workers whenever responding to the messages received from patients. [from abstract]
Health Workers' Experiences, Barriers, Preferences and Motivating Factors in Using mHealth Forms in Ethiopia
Mobile health (mHealth) applications, such as innovative electronic forms on smartphones, could potentially improve the performance of health care workers and health systems in developing countries. However, contextual evidence on health workers’ barriers and motivating factors that may influence large-scale implementation of such interfaces for health care delivery is scarce. [from abstract]