I just posted this up on our Digital Campus blog:
Last weekend Araya and Florida ran the first training course for Health Extensions Workers (HEWs) who will participate in our feasibility study. We are starting with a very small group of HEWs – just 5 in this first training session – and the 2 day training consisted of:
- the basic functions of the HTC hero phones, contacts, making calls, messaging and switching between Amharic and English keyboard layouts
- charging the phones using the solar lamps and chargers we provided – as most of the HEWs do not have electricity in their Health Posts
- using the EpiSurveyor client application for entering and sending data, plus using the GPS
- practice completing and sending the Ante Natal Care protocol forms set up in EpiSurveyor
This first training is simply to get the HEWs used to using the phones, find out what problems and issues they may have, especially with battery life, recharging, completing forms etc – at this stage we’re not looking to collect real data – though we hope they can practise using the forms with real patients.
The feedback we have received is that the training went very well, the HEWs seem very and eager to learn how to use the phones and soon became quite comfortable using them. Over the coming months we’ll introduce the phones to another couple of small groups of HEWs and we’ll find out what challenges may exist and the feasibility for using smartphones for protocol and data collection in this environment.