Jhpiego leverages mobile technology to improve the quality of care, affect health outcomes and empower people. Digital health solutions increase the impact of Jhpiego’s work in strengthening health care systems and developing local human capacity to prevent the needless deaths of women and their families. Jhpiego’s experience with digital health spans the last 25 years with support from U.S. government, corporate and foundation sources. Currently, Jhpiego is implementing digital health interventions in over 20 countries in Africa and Asia.
In Cote d’Ivoire, Jhpiego has trained 145 nurses and community health workers (CHWs) on the use of a referral and counterreferral tool that is centered around a chronic care model, screening not only for routine noncommunicable diseases such as high blood pressure and diabetes, but also HIV and TB. This allows two unique features: (1) health workers can provide support for each client’s particular combination of chronic conditions, and (2) clients can receive counseling and care related to HIV without uniquely identifying themselves to their community by including HIV with these other chronic conditions. With the help of the mobile application, CHWs are now receiving guidance in diagnosing and referring patients, collecting routine data for program managers, and making instant referrals to the local health center when needed.
In Nigeria, Jhpiego administered Hello Mama, a demand-generation service that uses SMS and voice messages to improve maternal and newborn health. The service sends weekly SMS or voice messages corresponding to the stage of the woman’s pregnancy or child’s development. To make the service better interface with women’s busy schedules, a “callback” feature is offered for women who are subscribed to the voice system but are unable to receive an audio message at the time it was sent. This feature allows subscribers to “flash” the system (meaning to dial a number and then hang up, to avoid incurring charges) at which point the system calls them back to deliver their latest messages. As of March 2018, more than 31,000 pregnant women and their spouses, friends or family members in two states are receiving messages. Over 1 million SMS messages were sent between October 2017 and March 2018.
In Ghana, an interactive story app “game,” Hello Nurse, is educating students at health training institutions about malaria. The app is part of an eLearning project in Ghana to better prepare the midwifery and nursing workforce in providing health services. In the app, learners assume the role of a nurse, Awa. Awa must make decisions in community health and health facility-based scenarios on symptoms of malaria, malaria in pregnancy, diagnosis and treatment of malaria. Over 6,500 students have installed the app since it was released in 2016.
In Mozambique, an electronic voluntary medical male circumcision (VMMC) client registry was developed to meet safety and quality assurance needs as VMMC services were scaled up. Using real-time client data captured through the tablet-based registry, the Mozambique VMMC program has been able to continuously improve the quality of its services. As of September 30, 2017, Jhpiego-supported projects in Mozambique have provided 900,389 VMMCs.