Cell Phones to Collect Pregnancy Data From Remote Areas in Liberia
ABSTRACT To report findings on knowledge and skill acquisition following a 3-day training session in the use of short message service (SMS) texting with non- and low-literacy traditional midwives.
A pre- and post-test study design was used to assess knowledge and skill acquisition with 99 traditional midwives on the use of SMS texting for real-time, remote data collection in rural Liberia, West Africa.
Paired sample t-tests were conducted to establish if overall mean scores varied significantly from pre-test to immediate post-test. Analysis of variance was used to compare means across groups. The nonparametric McNemar's test was used to determine significant differences between the pre-test and post-test values of each individual step involved in SMS texting. Pearson's chi-square test of independence was used to examine the association between ownership of cell phones within a family and achievement of the seven tasks.
The mean increase in cell phone knowledge scores was 3.67, with a 95% confidence interval ranging from 3.39 to 3.95. Participants with a cell phone in the family did significantly better on three of the seven tasks in the pre-test: "turns cell on without help" (χ(2) (1) = 9.15, p= .003); "identifies cell phone coverage" (χ(2) (1) = 5.37, p= .024); and "identifies cell phone is charged" (χ(2) (1) = 4.40, p= .042).
A 3-day cell phone training session with low- and nonliterate traditional midwives in rural Liberia improved their ability to use mobile technology for SMS texting.
Mobile technology can improve data collection accessibility and be used for numerous health care and public health issues. Cell phone accessibility holds great promise for collecting health data in low-resource areas of the world.
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ABSTRACT: Public health data collection methods in Sierra Leone were compared. First, a household health census was conducted with some interviewers using paper-based forms requiring later data entry and others using tablet computers for immediate electronic data inputting. Electronic data-entry surveys were more time-efficient and accurate than paper-based surveys. In a second evaluation, military Medical Inspection rooms (MMIRs) sent syndromic surveillance reports to a central communications hub via cell phone or paper-based forms. The report compliance rate was 89% for daily SMS and 100% for weekly SMS versus 76% for weekly paper reports. Electronic data collection and reporting is feasible and cost-efficient in low-resource settings.
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ABSTRACT: Health threats, such as HIV/AIDS, maternal health and SARS, are global in nature, as their impact goes beyond the borders of any one nation. This has compelled a global approach to combating these threats, commonly by multinational partnerships among many different types of institutions. Although diffusion of mobile technology in the developing world has been successful, and personal health records on mobile devices (mPHRs) have shown effectiveness in certain health-related contexts, they have not been widely used to address health threats globally. The purpose of this article is to discuss six areas in which research on mPHRs can be used to address global health issues.Proceedings of the 2014 47th Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences; 01/2014
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ABSTRACT: Access to mobile phone technology has rapidly expanded in developing countries. In Africa, mHealth is a relatively new concept and questions arise regarding reliability of the technology used for health outcomes. This review documents strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats (SWOT) of mHealth projects in Africa. A systematic review of peer-reviewed literature on mHealth projects in Africa, between 2003 and 2013, was carried out using PubMed and OvidSP. Data was synthesized using a SWOT analysis methodology. Results were grouped to assess specific aspects of project implementation in terms of sustainability and mid/long-term results, integration to the health system, management process, scale-up and replication, and legal issues, regulations and standards. Forty-four studies on mHealth projects in Africa were included and classified as: "patient follow-up and medication adherence" (n = 19), "staff training, support and motivation" (n = 2), "staff evaluation, monitoring and guidelines compliance" (n = 4), "drug supply-chain and stock management" (n = 2), "patient education and awareness" (n = 1), "disease surveillance and intervention monitoring" (n = 4), "data collection/transfer and reporting" (n = 10) and "overview of mHealth projects" (n = 2). In general, mHealth projects demonstrate positive health-related outcomes and their success is based on the accessibility, acceptance and low-cost of the technology, effective adaptation to local contexts, strong stakeholder collaboration, and government involvement. Threats such as dependency on funding, unclear healthcare system responsibilities, unreliable infrastructure and lack of evidence on cost-effectiveness challenge their implementation. mHealth projects can potentially be scaled-up to help tackle problems faced by healthcare systems like poor management of drug stocks, weak surveillance and reporting systems or lack of resources. mHealth in Africa is an innovative approach to delivering health services. In this fast-growing technological field, research opportunities include assessing implications of scaling-up mHealth projects, evaluating cost-effectiveness and impacts on the overall health system.BMC Public Health 02/2014; 14(1):188. DOI:10.1186/1471-2458-14-188 · 2.32 Impact Factor