We are very pleased to announce that we have released updated mobile-ready versions of the HEAT maternal and child care modules for our OppiaMobile platform. This work has been made possible through funding from mPowering Frontline Health Workers and UKAID (DFID).

Although previously we had made available summary versions of all the HEAT modules, we now have the whole module content adapted for mobile delivery.

Which modules have been adapted?

So far, we have adapted the following HEAT modules:

  • Antenatal Care (Parts 1 & 2)
  • Labor and Delivery Care
  • Postnatal Care
  • Integrated Management of Newborn and Childhood Illness (Parts 1 & 2)
  • Immunization
  • Nutrition

Soon we will release adapted versions for the remaining 7 modules covering other public health issues such as communicable and non-communicable diseases, family planning and adolescent/youth reproductive health.

How have the modules been adapted?

The HEAT modules were originally written for the upgrade training for the Health Extension Programme in Ethiopia and is the approved upgrade training by the Ethiopia Federal Ministry of Health.

For the mobile-ready adaptation process, we have removed specific references to Ethiopia and Health Extension Workers, along with cross references between different sections of the content. We anticipate that this will make it much easier for other organisations providing frontline health worker training to reuse/repurpose the content for their needs. However, the original full versions with all the Ethiopian references are also available.

We have also added extra quiz questions and video content – most of the video content has been provided by Medical Aid Films and Global Health Media Project.

We view the content adaptation as an iterative process, so we will constantly be working to improve the content with additional media and quiz content. We also welcome any feedback and suggestions on how to improve the adaptations (see below).

How can I access them?

There are 3 different ways to access the content – depending on your needs:

  • You can download the modules to run offline on your Android smartphone directly from the OppiaMobile learning app.
  • You can browse the content directly on our Moodle server. Although this applies the same stylesheet as when the content is viewed in the OppiaMobile app, the navigation and layout isn’t identical to the mobile app. This option is likely to be useful if you’d like to get a feel for the subject areas covered by the modules and the activities included.
  • You can download the Moodle backup versions of these courses. This option is designed for you to be able to install the courses on your Moodle server for the purposes of providing localised versions, perhaps to fit your curriculum, or with references to the country/region in which you are delivering training.

Can I reuse/adapt these courses?

Yes certainly, all the courses are released under a Creative Commons license, and we have specifically chosen media content which is also released under an open license. So you are free to adapt these courses to fit your needs.

Have any questions or would like to provide feedback?

We welcome any questions, feedback or suggestions on these courses or if you would like to discuss with us how you can integrate mobile learning into your health worker training programme. Please contact us at: info@digital-campus.org

If you’re interested in getting access to all the latest features and improvements to the OppiaMobile Android app, then join up to our beta testing team:

  1. Sign up to the OppiaMobile Google Group
  2. Then visit https://play.google.com/apps/testing/org.digitalcampus.mobile.learning

Once you are signed up you’ll have the option to get the latest beta version of the OppiaMobile app directly on you Android phone.

Please bear in mind that beta versions may have small issues or bugs, so we’d really appreciate it if you post any issues either in our Google Group or directly on GitHub.

[Update: map updated to show all users until 15 March 2014]

I just created a map of all the recent activity in OppiaMobile Android app based on the IP addresses our users are visiting from:

The map is just a point-in-time visualization of all our current users and since it’s based on IP addresses the locations aren’t exact (for example all users in Ethiopia are shown as being in Addis), but it’s sufficient to get a good impression on a country/regional level. The size of each ‘blob’ represents how many hits we’ve had from that location.

For info, here’s the process I went through to generate the map:

  1. Exact all the distinct IP address from our server logs
  2. Look up the IP address to get the city/region and country from the IPAddressLabs web service. I only signed up for their basic trial version – which doesn’t give the lat/lng – hence the requirement for the next step
  3. Look up the city and country using the GeoNames web service to get the lat/lng to then match up the IP address.
  4. Export the data and upload into CartoDB to create the visualization

Hopefully soon I’ll figure out how to make this a live map so it’s dynamically updated.

This morning I gave a presentation about OppiaMobile to the TelSpain conference in Madrid. At the conference I meet several colleagues from projects and work I was doing at the Open Uni over 5 or 6 years ago, so was great to meet them again. My presentation was video recorded, so will post up a link to the full video once it is available.

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:

Background

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.

Methods

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.

Results

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).

Conclusions

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.