chronic disease

Mobiles Phones for Health Worldwide: Moving From Hype to Context and Benefit

Posted by AnneryanHeatwole on Dec 09, 2011

We recently attended the mHealth Summit 2011 to learn more about the latest developments in the mobile health field. The conference brought together developers, practitioners, NGOs, representatives from corporate industries, and government officials to discuss the current state and future of mobile health. 

Several key trends emerged among the discussions, focusing on: local buy-in and capacity building, the importance of building partnerships and trust among communities, and the need to transition from short-term pilots to scalable, sustainable mHealth projects.

Scale, Sustainability, and Hype

There was a lot of discussion at the mHealth Summit 2011 about the number of failed pilot projects and the hype around mobile health.  More productively, there was considerable discussion on what steps can be taken to reduce the waste (including financial, time, and community good-will) that results from launching unusable, unscalable, or unsustainable mobile health projects. The honest assessment of challenges in the m-health field led to discussions about scalability and sustainability.

Improving Standards of Care with Mobile Applications in Tanzania

Posted by EKStallings on Nov 01, 2011
Improving Standards of Care with Mobile Applications in Tanzania data sheet 965 Views
Bogan, Molly, Jan van Esch, Gayo Mhila, Brian DeRenzi, Caroline Mushi, Timothy Wakabi, Neal Lesh, Marc Mitchell
Publication Date: 
Apr 2009
Publication Type: 
Report/White paper

In this paper, we present D-tree International’s work with medical algorithms and mobile applications to improve the standards of care in clinical and community settings. In particular, we present a mobile phone-based application called CommCare which helps community health workers (CHWs) to provide home-based care and social support to HIV, tuberculosis and other chronic patients. The application guides the CHWs through a series of questions which they answer using the phone’s number pad. The data then can be submitted directly to a central database over a cellular GPRS network.

We report on our experience developing and testing the application in Tanzania, including the iterative development process with the CHWs and training them to use the program. We include an account of some of the hardware and software issues encountered and resolved during the process, and some initial reactions from the first CHWs and clients to use the program. While the formal evaluation of the program is still in progress, initial findings show that the phonebased system is generally viewed positively by the users and by the clients as more discreet and better for privacy than the paper-based system.