MOBILE PHONES IN HEALTH CARE IN UGANDA: THE APPLAB STUDY

The Electronic Journal on Information Systems in Developing Countries (EJISDC (2012) 52, 2, 1-15)

 

–       Potential impact of health care tip application to find information on in health care in Uganda. Google SMS Health Tips and Google SMS Clinic Finder helps users find information on sexual and reproductive health in which HIV/AIDS information is in high demand. This programs targets young adults  and educates users by answering common questions to aid individuals in making informed decsions.

–       This study looks at the potential impact of health care tip application in health care facilities in Ugnada. Uganda has a high demand for information on HIV/AIDS.

–       The piolet project during June to December 2009 received 2 426 298 messages from 654 442 users although these messages not only included agriculture and weather tips the majority comprised of health enquiries. In January 2011 a small fee was introduced to use the service sparking a decline in enquiries.

–       Clinic finder is a directory of local clinics in Uganda and the services their offer as well as the hours of operation. This makes it easier for users to find the right clinic for their needs.

 

– mHealth: Applications: Google SMS Health Tips, Google SMS, Clinic finder à Lead to preventative care activities including information for health education and promotion information to avoid and control epidemics. As well as curative care activities which include information for treatment during illness/urgent health care information and communication during post-treatment (pg.7) à End result: Enhanced access to health information, timeliness in making decisions within the health sector, informed decisions from new knowledge among the patients and their families / loved ones as well as empowerment through better management of behavior change in personal health care.  

 

–       These tools can be used in HIV prevention activities to inform and educated not only those that come into the clinic seeking information but also reaches a broader group that has access to sms device (their or a friend/family members)

–       Test to Change: transformative effects characterize effects from mobile phones to create something new –new forms of intervention strategies and learning. Text to change is a non profit health organization focused on HIV prevention as well as the promotion of counseling and testing services. In a 6 Week project the organization reached 15 000 participatents and 225 came in for HIV counseling and testing services.  The Response for each question sent out to response participants was 17.4% on average.

–       SMS messages cost Ugandans almost 3 cents per text which some beilive is too much and should not exceed the cost of using the internet from their cell phones.

–       The majority use the phone for texting (96%) while 89% utilize the voice calling and 52% use the internet from their phone. From this study 57% said they received medical information via text messages from a professional ehealth care worker or doctor. 5% said they got their information from the internet.

–       In this study 65% of the individuals earned less then $100 a month yet had access to cell phones. This is a case and point that mobile phone do reach the most needed populations in some cases.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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