Providing home-based care using text messaging
Marwanga (Dr.), Reuben
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The increasing miniaturization of mobile devices marks an important opportunity for the next generation health care delivery. Mobile health (mHealth), existing at the nexus of health and technology provides a singular opportunity to take health where it is needed the most. Having had nearly mainstream adoption, may explain why the developed world is in tandem with health-related Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). On the other hand, developing countries still lag behind in meeting the same health-related goals, yet they continue to report successful stories of mobile technology growth and adoption but no major usage of the same to deliver healthcare. This research sought to explore existing mHealth applications to establish their suitability for use in developing countries such as Kenya to provide home-based care. This was done by a survey of existing literature and mHealth models, and an architecture developed in light of local communication infrastructure and local mobile phone abilities. It was established that for developing countries to take advantage of this leapfrogging technology in health, they would have to take advantage of the Short Message Service (SMS) that is cheap and accessible to all. A relationship amongst mHealth stakeholders was considered as key to enhancing the adoption of mHealth in such countries.