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Presentation on text messaging use in healthcare in developing countries, by Karen Coppock at mHealth Initiative Seminar in San Francisco, September 18, 2009

Presentation on text messaging use in healthcare in developing countries, by Karen Coppock at mHealth Initiative Seminar in San Francisco, September 18, 2009


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  • 1. Vital Wave Consulting Field Offices Latin America Rio de Janeiro, Brazil San Jose, Costa Rica Mexico City, Mexico Asia Using text messages for Bhopal, India Beijing, healthcare in developing countries China Phnom Penh, Cambodia Eastern Europe Tallinn, User Experience Panel and Discussion Estonia Africa Cairo, Egypt September 18, 2009 Johannesburg, South Africa Lagos, Nigeria United States Palo Alto, Karen Coppock California (Headquarters) VP of Consulting Services
  • 2. Mobile Health (mHealth) Defined mHealth is a subset of health services and mServices such as mMoney and mEducation Health Mobile Services mHealth Services (mServices) Photo: UN, UN Foundation, and Praekelt Foundation © 2009 Vital Wave ConsultingTM 1 Proprietary and Confidential: Do not copy or distribute.
  • 3. Technology in mHealth Applications Simpler, broadly accessible SMS technology prevails Other (sensors, GPS, etc) SMS/MMS More advanced technologies allow for SMS and MMS are the least expensive sophisticated diagnostic and logistical and most ubiquitous technologies in applications, but cost and hardware developing countries. Though it ranks specifications limit their utility second in program count, SMS-based (approx. 2/3 in research stage) projects are among the longest lasting and most prominent mHealth 10 examples 17 (more than 50% are active) Voice 5 The relatively high cost of voice calls, particularly in sub-Saharan Africa, limits the feasibility of large-scale mHealth applications, though these show promise in lower cost regions Data (typically PDAs) such as South Asia. Voice applications 33 Data collection and transmission using are not constrained by low literacy rates mobile-enabled PDAs is used primarily by health workers for the collection and transmission of health indicators Programs by Technology Type (approx. 2/3 in research stage) mHealth applications intended to reach a mass consumer audience tend to rely on simple, ubiquitous formats like SMS, while those for use by health workers often use more advanced technologies © 2009 Vital Wave ConsultingTM 2 Proprietary and Confidential: Do not copy or distribute.
  • 4. Technology in mHealth Applications Advanced technology brings with it greater capacity, costs One-Way Two-Way Clinical Data Data Services (not real-time) (not real-time) (real-time) • Public awareness, • Disease, emergency tracking • Remote health clinics BCC campaigns • Client record access • Remote emergency • Emergency advisories • Vaccination monitoring health consultation • Regimen adherence • Health information access • Training Cost Training required Technical capability The technology used for mHealth applications should align with the needs of the program it is designed to support. As applications move from one-way data towards clinical services, the technical capabilities increase, but so do cost and training requirements © 2009 Vital Wave ConsultingTM 3 Proprietary and Confidential: Do not copy or distribute.
  • 5. Case Study UM Healthcare: Healthcare for Rural Pakistan Health Objective Disease Tracking & Education Provide subsidized and affordable healthcare services to the rural communities in Pakistan. Country Pakistan Techniques Used Multiple-tools: SMS to register patients, Impact update /access patient records and track • 30+ diseases tracked real-time, data and learn about diseases, web-based apps, for 7 sent to WHO videoconferencing, face-to-face visits and • Approaching sustainability (charge paper and pen! each patient $0.40 per visit) • 15,000 patients treated a year, Partners majority are female Association of Pakistani Physicians in North America (APPNA), USAID, Information Photo: UM Healthcare Trust Society Innovation Fund, HEC and NUST © 2009 Vital Wave ConsultingTM 4 Proprietary and Confidential: Do not copy or distribute.
  • 6. Challenges Obstacles to scaling SMS-based mHealth programs • Business model required: − SMS is inexpensive, but not free − SMB-based mHealth programs rely predominantly on (financial & in-kind) donations • Integration with other health systems: − Programs largely stand-alone, do not feed into health information systems • Technology & market limitations: • 160 character limit • ~20% of adults are not literate • US market: SMS not widely used Photo: Vital Wave Consulting Data sources: UNESCO, Vital Wave Consulting © 2009 Vital Wave ConsultingTM 5 Proprietary and Confidential: Do not copy or distribute.
  • 7. mHealth Report mHealth for Development: The Opportunity of Mobile Technology for Healthcare in the Developing World: http://www.vitalwaveconsulting.com/insights/mHealth.htm http://www.unfoundation.org/global-issues/technology/mobile-health-for- development.html Vital Wave Consulting www.vitalwaveconsulting.com Tel: (US) 650-964-1316 Contact: karen.coppock@vitalwaveconsulting.com © 2009 Vital Wave ConsultingTM 6 Proprietary and Confidential: Do not copy or distribute.
  • 8. Thank You