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Mobile Technologies for Community Health

Mobile Technologies for Community Health (MOTECH) Partner(s): Dr. James Phillips
Heilbrunn Department of Population and Family Health

Released: January 2012
Archived, no longer available.

Mobile Technology for Community Health (MOTECH) was an initiative to test whether low-cost mobile phone technology could improve information-sharing among health care workers, and by doing so, improve maternal and infant health in rural communities in Ghana. Funded by a grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, MOTECH was a collaboration between the Grameen Foundation, Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health, the Ghana Health Service, and CCNMTL.

The Grameen Foundation developed a suite of services delivered over basic mobile phones that provided health information to pregnant women and encouraged them to seek antenatal care from local facilities. After the birth, the system addresses common questions about newborn care. Simultaneously, the MOTECH system collected information about patients for health workers. This information was used to identify women and newborns in their area in need of healthcare services, and automated the patient-tracking process. CCNMTL created a proof-of-concept reporting system for MOTECH showing how the collected data about patients could be used in reports and visualizations to assist health managers and supervisors at Community-based Health Planning and Services (CHPS) facilities.

Project Details

CCNMTL partnered with the Heilbrunn Department of Population and Family Health of the Mailman School of Public Health to develop, test, and disseminate a health information management system relying on low-cost cellular phone technology. This system, developed by Ghana Health Service, CCNMTL, and the Grameen Foundation, tested methods to improve the timeliness, accuracy, and utility of information required by front-line health workers in remote communities of Ghana. The project was funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.