Evaluation of an Android-based mhealth system for population surveillance in developing countries

Zeshan A. Rajput, Samuel Mbugua, David Amadi, Viola Chepnǵeno, Jason J. Saleem, Yaw Anokwa, Carl Hartung, Gaetano Borriello, Burke W. Mamlin, Samson K. Ndege, Martin C. Were

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

87 Scopus citations


Objective In parts of the developing world traditionally modeled healthcare systems do not adequately meet the needs of the populace. This can be due to imbalances in both supply and demand-there may be a lack of sufficient healthcare and the population most at need may be unable or unwilling to take advantage of it. Home-based care has emerged as a possible mechanism to bring healthcare to the populace in a cost-effective, useful manner. This study describes the development, implementation, and evaluation of a mobile device-based system to support such services. Materials and Methods Mobile phones were utilized and a structured survey was implemented to be administered by community health workers using Open Data Kit. This system was used to support screening efforts for a population of two million persons in western Kenya. Results Users of the system felt it was easy to use and facilitated their work. The system was also more cost effective than pen and paper alternatives. Discussion This implementation is one of the largest applications of a system utilizing handheld devices for performing clinical care during home visits in a resource-constrained environment. Because the data were immediately available electronically, initial reports could be performed and important trends in data could thus be detected. This allowed adjustments to the programme to be made sooner than might have otherwise been possible. Conclusion A viable, cost-effective solution at scale has been developed and implemented for collecting electronic data during household visits in a resource-constrained setting.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)655-659
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of the American Medical Informatics Association
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jul 2012
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health Informatics


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