mHealth projects

Mobile Technology for Community Health (MOTECH) Ghana

Posted by jasonhahn on Apr 06, 2011
Mobile Technology for Community Health (MOTECH) Ghana data sheet 3487 Views

MOTECH in Ghana has developed two interrelated mobile health services:

“Mobile Midwife” application: This service enables pregnant women and their families to receive SMS or voice messages that provide time-specific information about their pregnancy each week in their own language. This information is a mixture of: Alerts and reminders for care seeking (e.g., reminders to go for specific treatments, such as prenatal care or a tetanus vaccination). Actionable information and advice to help deal with challenges during pregnancy (e.g., tips for saving money for transportation to deliver at a health facility, what is needed for a birthing kit, nutrition information). Educational information, including milestones in fetal development, promotion of good health practices, and songs about breastfeeding. Voice messages are delivered in English or local languages. Two languages of the Upper East Region, Kasem and Nakam, were supported for MOTECH’s first implementation, and two languages of central region, Senya and Fante, will be supported in Awutu Senya. SMS messages are all delivered in English.

Basic Information
Organization involved in the project?: 
Project goals: 

The project aims to determine how to use mobile phones to increase the quantity and quality of prenatal and neonatal care in rural Ghana, with a goal of improving health outcomes for mothers and their newborns.

Brief description of the project: 

Can information delivered over a mobile phone improve someone’s health? Can it improve the quality of care received in a rural clinic? The Mobile Technology for Community Health (MOTECH) initiative in Ghana is a partnership between Ghana Health Service, Grameen Foundation and Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health. Funded by a grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the project aims to determine how to use mobile phones to increase the quantity and quality of prenatal and neonatal care in rural Ghana, with a goal of improving health outcomes for mothers and their newborns. The MOTECH system was launched in July 2010 in the Upper East Region; a replication in Awutu Senya district in Central Region will happen in April 2011. Further opportunities for scale across Ghana will be assessed in the second half of 2011. If successful, it is intended that MOTECH will be launched nationally in Ghana, and that this will become a showcase for replications throughout Africa and the world. The software system used in Ghana is available via OpenSource license and can be used for implementing a wide range of mobile health applications.

Target audience: 

Expecting and New Parents

Detailed Information
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Mobile Phones for Social Transformation

Posted by Peter Holt on Oct 18, 2010
Mobile Phones for Social Transformation data sheet 2482 Views
Peter Holt
Publication Date: 
Sep 2010
Publication Type: 

A new technology has crept onto the African scene that has enabled a step change in the way that the poor can access and share information. This concept paper outlines why we believe that Instant Messaging (IM) through services such as Mxit and JamiiX can make a significant difference, not only to the provision and impact of information services, but more importantly to the ongoing coaching and mentoring of individuals and communities. This technology offers benefits in terms of lower cost and greater ease of use, whereby users can enter into a “conversation” with a service provider. It is this ability to establish a relationship through the multiple exchange of texts that distinguishes the system from SMS based information services, and it is relationships that hold the key to translating information into practice and thus lasting transformation.

mHealth for Development: The Opportunity of Mobile Technology for Healthcare in the Developing World

Posted by LeighJaschke on Jul 07, 2009
mHealth for Development: The Opportunity of Mobile Technology for Healthcare in the Developing World data sheet 5447 Views
Vital Wave Consulting
Publication Date: 
Feb 2009
Publication Type: 
Report/White paper

Mounting interest in the field of mHealth—the provision of health-related services via mobile communications—can be traced to the evolution of several interrelated trends. In many parts of the world, epidemics and a shortage of healthcare workers continue to present grave challenges for governments and health providers. Yet in these same places, the explosive growth of mobile communications over the past decade offers a new hope for the promotion of quality healthcare. Among those who had previously been left behind by the ‘digital divide,’ billions now have access to reliable technology. There is a growing body of evidence that demonstrates the potential of mobile communications to radically improve healthcare services—even in some of the most remote and resource-poor environments.

This report examines issues at the heart of the rapidly evolving intersection of mobile phones and healthcare. It helps the reader to understand mHealth’s scope and implementation across developing regions, the health needs to which mHealth can be applied, and the mHealth applications that promise the greatest impact on heath care initiatives. It also examines building blocks required to make mHealth more widely available through sustainable implementations. Finally, it calls for concerted action to help realize mHealth’s full potential. The report is organized into the following sections:

  • 1. Identifying the potential of mobile phones to improve health in the developing world 
  • 2. Defining mHealth within the context of eHealth 
  • 3. Meeting health needs through a broad array of mHealth applications 
  • 4. Examining the impacts of mHealth projects 
  • 5 Assessing mHealth and future health needs in developing countries 
  • 6. Identifying the building blocks for sustainable and scalable mHealth programs 
  • 7. Understanding the incentives for multiple players: mHealth value chains 
  • 8. A call for action 
  • 9. Looking forward 
  • 10. Compendium of mHealth projects