Quantifying the impact of accessibility on preventive healthcare in sub-Saharan Africa using mobile phone data

Amy Wesolowski, Wendy Prudhomme O'Meara, Andrew J. Tatem, Samson Ndege, Nathan Eagle, Caroline O. Buckee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Background: Poor physical access to health facilities has been identified as an important contributor to reduced uptake of preventive health services and is likely to be most critical in low-income settings. However, the relation among physical access, travel behavior, and the uptake of healthcare is difficult to quantify.

Methods: Using anonymized mobile phone data from 2008 to 2009, we analyze individual and spatially aggregated travel patterns of 14,816,521 subscribers across Kenya and compare these measures to (1) estimated travel times to health facilities and (2) data on the uptake of 2 preventive healthcare interventions in an area of western Kenya: childhood immunizations and antenatal care.

Results: We document that long travel times to health facilities are strongly correlated with increased mobility in geographically isolated areas. Furthermore, we found that in areas with equal physical access to healthcare, mobile phone-derived measures of mobility predict which regions are lacking preventive care. Conclusions: Routinely collected mobile phone data provide a simple and low-cost approach to mapping the uptake of preventive healthcare in low-income settings.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)223-228
Number of pages6
JournalEpidemiology
Volume26
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2015
Externally publishedYes

Fingerprint

Cell Phones
Africa South of the Sahara
Health Facilities
Delivery of Health Care
Kenya
Preventive Health Services
Preventive Medicine
Prenatal Care
Immunization
Costs and Cost Analysis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Epidemiology
  • Medicine(all)

Cite this

Quantifying the impact of accessibility on preventive healthcare in sub-Saharan Africa using mobile phone data. / Wesolowski, Amy; O'Meara, Wendy Prudhomme; Tatem, Andrew J.; Ndege, Samson; Eagle, Nathan; Buckee, Caroline O.

In: Epidemiology, Vol. 26, No. 2, 01.01.2015, p. 223-228.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Wesolowski, Amy ; O'Meara, Wendy Prudhomme ; Tatem, Andrew J. ; Ndege, Samson ; Eagle, Nathan ; Buckee, Caroline O. / Quantifying the impact of accessibility on preventive healthcare in sub-Saharan Africa using mobile phone data. In: Epidemiology. 2015 ; Vol. 26, No. 2. pp. 223-228.
@article{5475f1e5e6954cb8ae8edfcd5a93ed38,
title = "Quantifying the impact of accessibility on preventive healthcare in sub-Saharan Africa using mobile phone data",
abstract = "Background: Poor physical access to health facilities has been identified as an important contributor to reduced uptake of preventive health services and is likely to be most critical in low-income settings. However, the relation among physical access, travel behavior, and the uptake of healthcare is difficult to quantify.Methods: Using anonymized mobile phone data from 2008 to 2009, we analyze individual and spatially aggregated travel patterns of 14,816,521 subscribers across Kenya and compare these measures to (1) estimated travel times to health facilities and (2) data on the uptake of 2 preventive healthcare interventions in an area of western Kenya: childhood immunizations and antenatal care.Results: We document that long travel times to health facilities are strongly correlated with increased mobility in geographically isolated areas. Furthermore, we found that in areas with equal physical access to healthcare, mobile phone-derived measures of mobility predict which regions are lacking preventive care. Conclusions: Routinely collected mobile phone data provide a simple and low-cost approach to mapping the uptake of preventive healthcare in low-income settings.",
author = "Amy Wesolowski and O'Meara, {Wendy Prudhomme} and Tatem, {Andrew J.} and Samson Ndege and Nathan Eagle and Buckee, {Caroline O.}",
year = "2015",
month = "1",
day = "1",
doi = "10.1097/EDE.0000000000000239",
language = "English (US)",
volume = "26",
pages = "223--228",
journal = "Epidemiology",
issn = "1044-3983",
publisher = "Lippincott Williams and Wilkins",
number = "2",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - Quantifying the impact of accessibility on preventive healthcare in sub-Saharan Africa using mobile phone data

AU - Wesolowski, Amy

AU - O'Meara, Wendy Prudhomme

AU - Tatem, Andrew J.

AU - Ndege, Samson

AU - Eagle, Nathan

AU - Buckee, Caroline O.

PY - 2015/1/1

Y1 - 2015/1/1

N2 - Background: Poor physical access to health facilities has been identified as an important contributor to reduced uptake of preventive health services and is likely to be most critical in low-income settings. However, the relation among physical access, travel behavior, and the uptake of healthcare is difficult to quantify.Methods: Using anonymized mobile phone data from 2008 to 2009, we analyze individual and spatially aggregated travel patterns of 14,816,521 subscribers across Kenya and compare these measures to (1) estimated travel times to health facilities and (2) data on the uptake of 2 preventive healthcare interventions in an area of western Kenya: childhood immunizations and antenatal care.Results: We document that long travel times to health facilities are strongly correlated with increased mobility in geographically isolated areas. Furthermore, we found that in areas with equal physical access to healthcare, mobile phone-derived measures of mobility predict which regions are lacking preventive care. Conclusions: Routinely collected mobile phone data provide a simple and low-cost approach to mapping the uptake of preventive healthcare in low-income settings.

AB - Background: Poor physical access to health facilities has been identified as an important contributor to reduced uptake of preventive health services and is likely to be most critical in low-income settings. However, the relation among physical access, travel behavior, and the uptake of healthcare is difficult to quantify.Methods: Using anonymized mobile phone data from 2008 to 2009, we analyze individual and spatially aggregated travel patterns of 14,816,521 subscribers across Kenya and compare these measures to (1) estimated travel times to health facilities and (2) data on the uptake of 2 preventive healthcare interventions in an area of western Kenya: childhood immunizations and antenatal care.Results: We document that long travel times to health facilities are strongly correlated with increased mobility in geographically isolated areas. Furthermore, we found that in areas with equal physical access to healthcare, mobile phone-derived measures of mobility predict which regions are lacking preventive care. Conclusions: Routinely collected mobile phone data provide a simple and low-cost approach to mapping the uptake of preventive healthcare in low-income settings.

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=84923991691&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=84923991691&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1097/EDE.0000000000000239

DO - 10.1097/EDE.0000000000000239

M3 - Article

C2 - 25643101

AN - SCOPUS:84923991691

VL - 26

SP - 223

EP - 228

JO - Epidemiology

JF - Epidemiology

SN - 1044-3983

IS - 2

ER -