Project Lead(s): Richard Ssembatya
Mobile phone-based health records could empower patients in developing countries to take ownership of their records through their mobile phone, in order to share their records with healthcare professionals, even when hospital systems are offline due to frequent power outages.
Implemented in Uganda, this project used a participatory design approach to identify patients’ needs and requirements, and then designed and delivered a mobile phone-based health app.
Design architecture for the app was developed, based on the findings of a three-month contextual study with patients and healthcare professionals at Allan Galpin Health Centre (AGHC), selected in part because of its involvement in past and current trials of ehealth systems.
The main outcome of this study was to demonstrate the ability to empower patients to have secure control of their own health records, so they could continue sharing their records with healthcare professionals, even when hospital systems are offline.
In contrast to the previous approaches, the design architecture provides security for a patient’s records right from the entry point at the hospital, all the way to the recipient’s mobile phone. This maintains confidentiality of records towards users, and supports portability.
A plan to translate the technology into the local language was highly recommended by the majority of the patients, and the study group has identified World Vision as the potential partners/investors to perform the field study evaluation toward impact.
Knowledge from this project has been presented through conferences.