A Mobile health application for patient monitoring in maternal healthcare
Chege, Ian Antony
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With the recent global uptake of mobile devices and mobile connectivity services, a new avenue for the dispatch of health information services to patients by health facilities has emerged. Mobile health applications complementing patient monitoring systems have enabled access to health care services by patients whereby medical practitioners are able to monitor their patients remotely and therefore provide healthcare information either in real time or intermittently through the use of mobile devices. Of particular importance is the field of maternal health care, which has received a major boost by virtue of mobile penetration. This has brought about uptake of patient services and the receptiveness towards mobile capabilities for the patients to their respective health facilities. In Kenya, a majority of the number of women do not receive the recommended four or more required antenatal care visits. A contributing factor towards these low figures is that a number of these women live in abject poverty. In order to combat these low figures, monitoring of patients by doctors and community health workers through use of mobile applications will go a long way in increasing health care services to expectant mothers. This application area focuses on a mobile health application for gathering of patient data and dissemination of stage-based maternal health information to the patients’ mobile devices. The application also provides timely antenatal care tips as well as allowing the user to set reminders on upcoming appointments and expected antenatal care visits. The application also allows for two-way interactive text messaging between the expectant mother and the health worker. Testing and implementation of the application yielded 60% acceptability and user satisfaction from the respondents, with users determining the accuracy and responsiveness of the application at 62%. From the testing results provided by the respondents, the application can be deemed as usable and viable for implementation. In conclusion, the application was deemed acceptable by the respondents, who found the two-way interactive messaging functionality unique.