A m-HealthSurvey Certification Exercise was carried out as part of the m-Health Real-Time Biosurveillance Program (RTBP) to measure the usability and adoptability of the m-HealthSurvey mobile application. The exercise was conducted with health workers in Sivagangai District, Tamil Nadu, India and in Kurunegala District, Sri Lanka. The final results of the exercise will be published in the near future.
m-HealthSurvey is a mobile application developed by indian Institute of technology Madras’s Rural Technology and Business Incubator (RTBI) for collecting near real-time patient disease, syndrome, and demographic data for rapid detection of disease outbreaks. It is a J2ME midlet that allows users to select categorical data as well as type information to generate patient clinical records to be submitted via GPRS to a central database. The pilot is going on in India and Sri Lanka now.
Observations from the exercise revealed a disparity in the usage and adoption between the age groups of the health workers using the m-HealthSurvey for RTBP data submission – younger Sarvodaya Suwadana Center health workers, between the age of 18 – 35 in Sri Lanka, were able to complete the exercise easily in the allotted time by themselves without any help. While the older Tamil Nadu Health Department Village Health Nurses, between the age of 30 – 50, but with 10 – 20 years field experience, were unable to complete the exercise in time and, except for one or two of them, all others required guidance and assistance. This, adoption and usability, disparity of mobile phone applications between older and younger generations is also evident from LIRNEasia’s BOP findings; where “youngsters are more likely than older to adopt mobile phones beyond voice” (De Silva et al, 2009).
The health workers in Sivagangai and Kurunegala began using the m-HealthSurvey mobile application immediately after the training in June 2009; see blogs – Village Health Nurse training and Suwadana Center Health Worker training.
View link for field report –
Sivagangai District Field report by Dr. Ganesan Muthaiya (India)
Kurunegala District Field report by Ms. Pubuduni Weerakoon (Sri Lanka)