GlobalWA Members Develop Mobile Health Software to Improve Access to Healthcare Information in Developing Countries
“I have no idea how I’d manage without it” is a sentiment often heard when speaking of our connection to handheld devices. Our smartphones tell us when to get out of bed in the morning, keep us connected with friends and family, help us navigate directions, and now have the ability to provide us with round-the-clock health advice from medical professionals.
One Global Washington member, Grameen Foundation, along with several other mobile health (mHealth) implementers, and core sponsor Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, another valued member of Global Washington, are tackling a project to help people living in the developing world have similar access to healthcare information.
The Mobile Technology for Community Health (MOTECH) Suite is a software project that allows mHealth solution-based partnerships to develop and manage health resources in a cost-effective and user-friendly manner resulting in better health outcomes.
MOTECH Suite is already being tested by several major organizations in several projects in India. These include:
CARE is an international humanitarian agency focused on emergency relief initiatives. CARE uses MOTECH Suite to prepare women for childbirth, as well as provide training in postnatal care and breastfeeding. CARE also uses MOTECH Suite to provide the ability for healthcare workers to share information, resulting in more effective coordination of care.
BBC Media Action uses media and communication to reduce poverty in developing economies. BBC Media Action uses MOTECH Suite to provide interactive voice recording operations for the purpose of supplying continuing education to healthcare workers. It also uses the program to provide videos about pre-natal and post-natal care for healthcare workers to demonstrate to patients in their native languages.
World Health Partners aims to deliver reproductive and other health services to vulnerable communities using the resources available in their local markets. WHP utilizes MOTECH Suite as a comprehensive patient-management system for individuals diagnosed with tuberculosis. MOTECH Suite enhances WHP’s pre-existing electronic records by providing healthcare workers with medical tracking as well as to generate reports. It also provides patients appointment reminders and medication alerts.
Johnson & Johnson aims to develop long-lasting partnerships with organizations focused on improving the quality of life among impoverished communities specific to women and children and disease prevention. Johnson & Johnson uses MOTECH Suite to remind patients to take their medications, as well as alerting them to upcoming appointments. Healthcare workers are able to access more advanced patient care data including any side effects to drugs patients may be experiencing.
According to MOTECH, the software suite offers a consortium of varied applications, and it provides five of the key services often affiliated with mHealth, including behavior change & demand generation, managing patient data, improving worker performance, last-mile supply chain, and patient adherence.
Across the five key services geared toward providing meaningful mHealth are many capabilities thanks to the workflow provided by MOTECH Suite, including interactive voice response, managing patient records, counseling support, home visit scheduling, automated stock reports and referral tracking.
MOTECH claims that the benefits of using its software suite include a more efficient way to reach patients, enhanced data entry, better patient coordination, classification and treatment of childhood illness, timely reminders and increased useful medical interventions.
MOTECH Suite consistently improves with each new technological application, and it adheres to many device formats available on the market today, ranging from low-end mobile handsets to PCs, meeting the technology needs of many countries.