Mobile-ready healthcare courses

Following our release a few weeks ago of the mobile-ready versions of the HEAT maternal and child care modules for our OppiaMobile platform, we have now completed the adaptation of the remaining HEAT modules. This work has been made possible through funding from mPowering Frontline Health Workers and UKAID (DFID).

Which modules have been adapted?

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
  • Communicable Diseases (Parts 1-4)
  • Non-communicable Diseases (Parts 1 & 2)
  • Adolescent and Youth Reproductive Health
  • Hygiene and Environmental Health (Parts 1 & 2)
  • Health Management, Ethics and Research
  • Health Education, Advocacy and Community Mobilisation (Parts 1 & 2)
  • Family Planning

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:

Developing an Analytics Dashboard for Maternal Care

Over the last few months, alongside the protocol forms the Health Extension Workers (HEWs) are using to record maternal care patient encounters on their smartphones, we have been developing an analytics dashboard to allow HEWs, midwives, their supervisors and the local health bureaus to track the progress of pregnant mothers, their medical & pregnancy risk factors, and a range of key performance indicators.

Providing information back to HEWs and their supervisors about their performance, we hope will help to increase the number of ANC visits according to the recommended schedule, and provide information for local health bureaus to better prioritize resources and training. The current performance indicators include the percentage of ANC visits made on time, number of protocols submitted, PNC visit made on time and immunization records for both mother and baby.

Analytics Scorecard home page

For the HEWs, we can also provide information about the upcoming appointments, deliveries to assist them to plan their time better. Guidelines from the Ethiopian Ministry of Health encourage all pregnant mothers to give birth at local health centres, so we can use the ANC visit information to inform local midwives on expected delivery dates. Local health bureaus and HEW supervisors are able to compare the performance between different health posts or districts.

We are trying to be careful that this doesn’t become used as a EMRS (electronic medical records system) – there are already plenty of MRS’s available – rather we are looking at ways in which the HEWs can see advantages to recording their patient visits on their smartphones, by providing them with relevant, timely and easy to understand information about the patients in their area. In the future we may look at how to integrate with an MRS system (e.g. OpenMRS), but currently this is not the focus of what we’re trying to achieve.

For the technically minded, the analytics dashboard runs by accessing the ODK Aggregate database directly. We’ve looked at several different data collection tools (especially those focused on medical information collection), but all would require either direct database access (as we have done with ODK) or extraction of the data via an API (which would generally mean exporting to another database then accessing the dashboard from this). We’re still in the process of getting the HEWs and their supervisors up and running with accessing all this information via the web application and smartphone – we also still have some development work to do. Currently our researchers in Mekelle are printing regular reports to give to supervisors and HEWs, also, as this is a research project, it’s important that all the information (from protocols) can be stored as a hard-copy with the rest of the normal patient records at the health posts.

We’re currently developing an application so HEWs are able to access their task/performance information directly on the smartphones – which will work offline when there is no GPRS connection available, and update automatically when a connection is available (most likely using an HTML5 application, rather than a specific Android application)

Screen shots from prototype mobile browser version (personal data has been pixelated)

Using a smartphone platform to deliver this type of information is a good balance & compromise between other platform choices we could have made. Using PCs/laptops/netbooks would involve much more technical support, training and maintenance, and likely to have other issues such as access to electricity, portability etc. Smaller, low-spec phones would not allow us to present the information in such a clear and easy-to-use way.

For those interested the code for the analytics dashboard is available to download from GitHub at:

Scroll to top