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Mobile health data collection at primary health care in Ethiopia: a feasible challenge

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Abstract

OBJECTIVES: Feasibility assessment of mobile health (mHealth) data collection at primary health care in Ethiopia. STUDY DESIGN AND SETTING: A total of 14 health workers were recruited from 12 primary health care facilities to use smartphones, installed with customized data collection application and electronic maternal health care forms for assessing pregnant women's health for 6 months. Qualitative approaches comprising in-depth interviews and field notes were used to document the users' perception and experience in using the application and forms. RESULTS: All health workers had never had previous exposure to smartphones and electronic forms, but they got used to them easily. Over 6 months, all health workers completed a total of 952 patient records using the forms on smartphones. Health workers' acceptability and demand for the application and forms were high. In introducing the application, nontechnical challenges were more difficult to solve than technical challenges. CONCLUSION: Introducing an mHealth application at primary health care for routine collection of health data relevant to maternal health at a small scale was feasible. Nonetheless, implementing a system of assigning unique and consistent patient identifier, standardization of health services, and improving mobile network coverage would be prerequisites for scaled-up usage of such an application.

    Research areas

  • mHealth, Electronic forms, Community health workers, Maternal health, Primary health care, Mobile technologies, COUNTRIES, PHONES
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Details

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)80-86
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Clinical Epidemiology
Volume68
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2015