We are very pleased to welcome Marijs Carrin to the Digital Campus team. Marijs is responsible for our content development for primary health care, specifically focused on our current DFID project in Ethiopia. You can read Marijs’s full bio on our team page.
We have just had a research paper accepted and published on “Meeting community health worker needs for maternal health care service delivery using appropriate mobile technologies in Ethiopia”. The paper describes our approach and the technologies used in our recent project working with health extension workers in Ethiopia using mobile technologies for recording and managing maternal care visits. We anticipate that the results and approach outlined in this paper would be of great interest to others working in the field of mobile health.
The full open-access article can be found on the PlosOne website, and here is the abstract:
Mobile health applications are complex interventions that essentially require changes to the behavior of health care professionals who will use them and changes to systems or processes in delivery of care. Our aim has been to meet the technical needs of Health Extension Workers (HEWs) and midwives for maternal health using appropriate mobile technologies tools.
We have developed and evaluated a set of appropriate smartphone health applications using open source components, including a local language adapted data collection tool, health worker and manager user-friendly dashboard analytics and maternal-newborn protocols. This is an eighteen month follow-up of an ongoing observational research study in the northern of Ethiopia involving two districts, twenty HEWs, and twelve midwives.
Most health workers rapidly learned how to use and became comfortable with the touch screen devices so only limited technical support was needed. Unrestricted use of smartphones generated a strong sense of ownership and empowerment among the health workers. Ownership of the phones was a strong motivator for the health workers, who recognised the value and usefulness of the devices, so took care to look after them. A low level of smartphones breakage (8.3%,3 from 36) and loss (2.7%) were reported. Each health worker made an average of 160 mins of voice calls and downloaded 27Mb of data per month, however, we found very low usage of short message service (less than 3 per month).
Although it is too early to show a direct link between mobile technologies and health outcomes, mobile technologies allow health managers to more quickly and reliably have access to data which can help identify where there issues in the service delivery. Achieving a strong sense of ownership and empowerment among health workers is a prerequisite for a successful introduction of any mobile health program.
Yesterday, Roman presented the OppiaMobile platform & solutions at a meeting organised by mPowering Frontline Health Workers. This is an innovative public-private partnership designed to improve child health by accelerating the use of mobile technology by health workers around the world. The mHealth Alliance coordinates and amplifes the resources and expertise of their founding members: USAID, UNICEF, Frontline Health Workers Coalition, Qualcomm, Vodafone, Intel, MDG Health Alliance, GlaxoSmithKline, Praekelt Foundation and Absolute Return for Kids.
Here’s a short video about the work of mPowering Frontline Health Workers:
Update (24th Oct 2013): the presentation Roman gave can now be downloaded from the mHealth Working Group website.
AMREF Ethiopia have just posted up the following vacancy for a Project Officer: http://www.ethiojobs.net/display-job/24608/Project-Officer.html. This role is to work on our mobile learning project, in partnership with AMREF and is to be based in Mekelle, Ethiopia. The closing date is 14th October.
Please send any applications directly to AMREF Ethiopia (to the address in the job advert), rather than to Digital Campus.
Alex has recently presented the OppiaMobile platform and our recent and ongoing projects with health workers in Ethiopia at the DaeSav Ethiopia Conference 2013 in Berlin “Innovation through Cooperation”.
Here is a copy of the presentation on SlideShare and we hope to be able to post soon a link to the video:
It was great to have been invited to speak at the conference and make many more contacts. We hope to be able to tie up our work on OppiaMobile with the work of Ahadoo – a new start up in Ethiopia developing mobile learning tools, currently focused on secondary education.
We have recently set up the advisory board for Digital Campus, so we’d like to welcome Ann, Lesley-Anne, Nuriye and Paul to the team. You can find out more about their backgrounds and experience on our advisory board team page. We’re really pleased to have such an experienced group of people to help advise us.
We’ve recently given out the certificates of participation for all the Health Extension Workers, midwives and supervisors who have been working with us for the last two years. We really appreciate all the effort and time they have put into making the project a success. Here are a couple of photos of Araya presenting some of the certificates:
Through our recent funding from DFID, we are looking to recruit a Digital Content Developer for Primary Healthcare to work with us on this project. A brief overview of the role:
- You will be working with our medical and technical team to create and source high quality primary healthcare training content, activities and assessment for rural health workers in their continuous professional development activities.
- You will ensure that all the training material is prepared to the highest standards of presentation, accuracy and educational value.
- The ideal candidate will have excellent organisational skills and an ability to keep to tight deadlines. Proven experience of instructional design and teaching is essential.
and the key details:
- Contract: 2 year fixed term contract
- Hours: Part-time (20 hours p.w./0.5 FTE)
- Location: Remote (home-based)
- Salary: £26,600 to £28,700 p.a. (pro-rata)
- Closing date: 13 September 2013
To apply please send a copy of your CV with a supporting statement and details of 2 references to email@example.com. References will not be taken up until after a job offer has been made.
To strengthen our financial and grant management, we are currently looking to recruit a volunteer Advisory Board Member with financial management experience. The key skills and experience we are looking for include:
- Experience of providing financial management advice and oversight
- Experience of the not-for-profit/charity sector
- Implementing best practice for managing donor funded projects
- Budgeting, cash flow and financial forecasting
Our expectation is that this role would involve a commitment of 1-2 days per month. The Digital Campus team are all home-based workers, so our board meetings are usually held via skype at the end of each month.
We’re really pleased to announce that we have just received confirmation of funding for a new project working with mobile learning for Health Extension Workers. The project is funded by UKAid and we’re working with AMREF Ethiopia as the local implementing partners.
Over the coming 3 years we’ll be working with 160 Health Workers who are taking part in their Level 4 upgrade programme (using the HEAT content), supplementing the existing training content with additional videos and quizzes to track their performance, skills and knowledge, especially once they return to their health posts.
The main focus will be on maternal care, but we’ll cover all of the primary care topics in the HEAT content. This will give us an excellent opportuity to develop and extend the OppiaMobile application as well as provide us with some excellent information as to how the health workers get on with using mobile learning and how it may help to improve the services they provide to their communities.
You will be able to track the project progress via the DfID project database at: http://projects.dfid.gov.uk/ – the official project title is: “Improving Health Extension Workers’ training and effectiveness through continuous skills improvement, knowledge assessment and patient management processes for 160 Ethiopian health workers”. We’ll also be making regular updates about the project progress via this blog too.