Three mHealth apps help with treatment adherence
Adherence to medication is an increasing problem in primary health care in Africa. It is important for many things, from birth control to antibiotics to ARTs. When medications are forgotten or skipped, most treatments are no longer as effective. This becomes both costly for the healthcare system and detrimental to a patient’s health.
Factors impacting adherence are multifaceted and include social, economic and psychological motives. A sub-Saharan study in 2017 reported the most common barriers to adherence were;ForgettingLack of access to adequate foodStigma and discriminationSide-effects of the medicationTraveling
With the uptake of smartphones in Africa, mHealth apps targeting treatment adherence could be a simple solution. Here are the top 3 downloaded treatment adherence apps on Google Play Store.
This app turns patient education into an adventure game and shows patients the importance of sticking to a treatment schedule.
In addition to medication reminders, this app will notify friends and family if the user defaults. Medisafe also launched a low-tech version that sends reminders through automated phone calls and text messages.
After logging their medications on the MyTherapy app, users will receive reminders and alerts to take their medications. Other features on the app include symptom tracking, healthy lifestyle tips and friends and family support groups.
Improved adherence means a healthier society and ultimately, a reduced burden on healthcare systems. Moreover, access to adherence data from these apps could help doctors and policy makers make better informed decisions about how to improve the healthcare system.
- 430 views
- March 01, 2018
- Ameera Hamid
Kenya introduces an ePharmacy app
MyDawa is an eHealth platform that allows consumers to purchase medications and other health and wellness products via a mobile application. The platform was launched to the Kenyan market in March 2017 and has already attracted more than 30 000 registered users.
After downloading the app from the Play Store or App Store, registered users can simply search medications they require, upload a medial prescription if necessary, add to their cart and proceed to payment. Once the order is completed, medications and products purchased will be delivered to the consumer at their convenience. Purchases that require a prescription are verified by a pharmacist before dispensing to the consumer’s mobile cart.
The MyDawa solution allows customers to gain the advantage of having increased transparency, convenience and affordability. Products sold on the MyDawa app are 40% below the market price, and even 3rd party products are sold 20% cheaper than usual. The app’s popularity in Kenya is driven by rising healthcare costs and value conscious consumers. Payment on the app is made simple and allows consumers to pay via M-Pesa.
This a great example in Africa that emphasizes the need for healthcare vendors to continue to embrace disruption in the industry, to become more efficient, to lower costs, increase accessibility to healthcare and provide patient-centric care.
- 404 views
- February 20, 2018
- Ameera Hamid
mHealth sigue expandiéndose, pero África y Sudamérica están detrás
El mercado de mHealth ha estado creciendo constantemente y se mantendrá. En su informe “mHealth App Economics 2017 Current Status and Future Trends in Mobile Health”, Research2Guidance (R2G), una empresa de asesoramiento de estrategia e investigación de mercado, evalúa cómo los intrusos digitales se están apropiando del mercado de la salud.
Este año, hay 325,000 aplicaciones de salud y acondicionamiento físico disponibles en todas las principales tiendas de aplicaciones. Son 78,000 más que el año pasado.
La mayoría de los profesionales de eHealth vienen de Europa, 47% y 36% de los EE. UU., Un 83% combinado. Asia-Pacífico representa el 11%. Sudamérica y África están en el 4% y 2% respectivamente, lo que confirma la necesidad de un mayor desarrollo de capacidad humana.
Otros hallazgos incluyen:Android adelanta a Apple en los números de aplicaciones de salud84,000 editores de aplicaciones de salud lanzan aplicacionesAmpliación de la demanda y la brecha de oferta, con un alto número de desarrolladores y bajas tasas de crecimiento de las descargasInversión de US $ 5.4bn en empresas de eSalud que abastecen al mercadoLos usuarios descargarán aproximadamente 3.6bn de aplicaciones en 201718% no está desarrollando aplicaciones de salud debido a regulaciones inciertas53% de los profesionales de eHealth esperan que los seguros de salud sean el canal de distribución futuro con el mejor potencial de mercado.
Dos tipos de aplicaciones pueden tener un gran impacto en la atención médica. La Inteligencia Artificial (IA) es vista como la tecnología más disruptiva. Se considera que la combinación con el monitoreo remoto es la tecnología que más perturbará la atención médica. El perfil:AI 61% Monitoreo remota y asistencia 43% Wearables 34% IoT 30% Realidad virtual e inteligencia 27% Impresión 3D 22% Blockchain 18% 5G 8% Otro 5%.
Parece que hay una oportunidad para que los sistemas de salud de África respalden y amplíen su oferta de aplicaciones de salud local.
- 143 views
- January 23, 2018
- Matt Jones
eHealth Africa pilots AVADAR to track Toward Polio Eradication progress
In response to the reported cases of wild poliovirus in Nigeria, eHealth Africa (eHA) partnered with Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the WHO, and Novel-T to pilot a mobile surveillance app for Acute Flaccid Paralysis (AFP) in children. It’s a condition of a rapid onset of weakness of people’s extremities, and includes Guillain-Barré syndrome. AFP often causes weakness of respiration and swallowing muscles, progressing to maximum severity within one to ten days.
WHO defines AFP surveillance as six goals:Track wild poliovirus circulationUse data to classify cases as confirmed, polio-compatible or discardedMonitor routine coverage and surveillance performance using standard indicators in all geographical areas and focus efforts in ones that are low-performingMonitor seasonality to determine low season of poliovirus transmissions to help to plan National Immunisation Days (NID)Identify high-risk areas to plan mop-up immunisation campaignsProvide evidence to certification commissions of interruptions of wild poliovirus circulation.
Standard indicators are:>90% of expected monthly reports>1/1000,000 annualised non-polio AFP rate per 100,000 children under 15>80% of AFP cases investigated within 48 hours>80% of AFP cases with two adequate stool specimens collected 24-48 hours apart and less than 14 days after onset>80% of specimens arriving at laboratories in good condition>80% of specimens arriving at a WHO-accredited laboratories within three days of despatch>80% of specimens for which laboratories’ results sent within 28 day turn round.
AFP surveillance’s one of four cornerstone strategies of polio eradication. The objective’s to identify all cases of polio through a system that targets any case of AFP as a potential case of polio. AVADAR’s a surveillance tool on android mobile devices provided to health workers and community informants. It aids AFP detection and reporting both in health facilities and local communities.
- 243 views
- December 06, 2017
- Lesley Dobson
Mobicure wins World Expo grant
A Nigerian eHealth start-up Mobicure has won an Expo Live grant. An article in Disrupt Africa says it
OMOMI application, which helps expectant mothers and parents of under-five-year-olds monitor the wellbeing of their children from home. The award’s up to US$100,000, made available incrementally depending on progress and results.
OMOMI’s a mobile platform. At the touch of a button, mothers can easily monitor their children’s health, access life-saving maternal and child health information and medical expertise. It was launched in Benin City in 2015 and now has 31,000 users with over 4,000 active monthly users. In the last nine months, it’s seen a 450% rise in users. The Expo Live grant will help it achieve three more goals. One’s an expanded reach to more families. Another’s adding more features and health information. The third’s promoting OMOMI to more parents in Sub-Saharan Africa.
Emirates is delighted to host the next World Expo, in Dubai in 2020. Will another African eHealth start-up succeed there?
- 399 views
- November 14, 2017
- Matt Jones
Will the mHealth app market expand by 2020?
Despite the hype around mHealth apps, the global mHealth app market is still niche. A report, mHealth App Market Sizing 2015 – 2020, by Research2Guidance believes it’ll change drastically over the next two years or so as mHealth app publishers refine their business models. Traditional apps store revenue sources like paid downloads, in-app purchase and in-app advertisement won’t be big enough to support the growing number of mHealth app publishers.
The report focuses mainly on rich high-income clients, such as those in China, USA and France, all of which are in the top ten major country markets. Not surprisingly, no African country ranks in the top ten. This doesn’t mean that it’s not relevant for African countries.
The report has five main parts:
1. Current market size, with current mHealth market sizing in terms of app numbers, app downloads and app store revenues for all mHealth apps or by app category and identifying key app segments according to their current reach
2. Country mHealth markets, reviewing the mHealth app markets of 56 countries. profiling ten countries which currently offer the best market potential for mHealth app publishers and information about the country mHealth app market characteristics, such as which platform leads in the country and required download numbers to enter a top five ranking position
3. Seventeen mHealth business models, describing of mHealth app publishers’ performance, their different monetisation strategies and the most commonly used business models for mHealth apps and examples of best practice
4. Top mHealth app publishers, with their background and performance for the Health&Fitness and Medical app section and lists and descriptions of current, most successful Health&Fitness and Medical app publishers, analysing their product portfolios and performance
5. mHealth market forecasts, with estimated market size and revenue until 2020, with a detailed outlook on the demand and supply side of the mHealth app market, forecasting the number of mHealth app users, their platform preference and the number of downloads.
Analysts, mHealth decision makers, mHealth app publishers and investors can all benefit from the insights in the report. It looks at important trends that African countries implementing mHealth solutions should be aware of.
- 365 views
- September 25, 2017
- Lesley Dobson
Discover Africa’s plethora of eHealth opportunities at eHealthAFRO 2017 Use-case Bazaar
Industry stakeholders are realising the opportunity for eHealth to help expand access to healthcare resources, improve patient outcomes, and increase efficiency of healthcare services. The eHealth space in Africa is experiencing an explosion of new ideas and technologies, which the eHealthAFRO 2017 conference will showcase. It takes place at Emperors Palace from 2-4 October 2017.
Afternoon use-case bazaars on Tuesday and Wednesday will allow conference participants to explore 48 new ideas and technologies. These sessions will feature compelling eHealth solutions and implementations. The use-case bazaar themes extend from the conference theme: eHealth for Universal Health Care (eH4UHC) and includes mobile apps and devices, eHealth systems and architecture, and eHealth use-cases demonstrating on-the-ground successes.
Participating organizations include HISP-SA, UCT's CIDER, Jembi Health Systems, SANAC's Focus for Impact project, the AitaHealth assisted community outreach project, HPCSA’s new eLogbook for interns and many more.
See the expanding list on the eHealthAFRO website. Don’t miss this opportunity to engage with industry leaders, share your ideas and keep abreast of eHealth developments in Southern Africa.
If you or your organization have an interesting eHealth solution or project, let it be shown where Africa meets for eHealth. There are still a few open slots for organizations that would like the opportunity to showcase their eHealth idea or technology. For more on this opportunity, contact the eHealthAFRO organizing committee here.
- 714 views
- September 06, 2017
- Ameera Hamid
EMGuidance scales its eHealth platform across Africa
After its success at Seedstar SA, EMGuidance next step’s to scale its clinical facilitation platform across Africa. It’s ready to release of a slim-line version in eleven countries.
An article in Disrupt Africa says its centralised, interactive digital access point equips local doctors with the latest information. It reduces inaccurate decisions when they deliver care and administer medicines. A team of in-house doctors, pharmacists and national network specialists developed the app. It’s Africa´s first free, interactive and consistently updated mHealth medicines resource, with over 800 active ingredients listed. By August this year, there’ll be 1,200 listed.
The eleven countries are Botswana, Egypt, Ghana, Kenya, Namibia, Tanzania, Uganda, Cameroon, Rwanda, Sudan and Zambia. Its platform’s available on Android and iOS. Over 5,000 doctors have registered since its launch. It’s gone viral, with over 80% of growth coming through word of mouth.
Over 20 medical institutions use EMGuidance to publish their clinical guidelines. It seems that EMGuidance’s set to roll out right across Africa.
- 576 views
- August 15, 2017
- Matt Jones
Indian Ministry of Health pilots mHealth services
Indian Health Ministry has stepped up its mHealth and eHealth services. The programme currently focuses on two districts. Baglung and Ilam. mHealth uses mobile apps and text messaging services to track pregnant mother´s ante-natal visits.
An article in the Kathmandu Post says Medic Mobile, an organisation operating in 23 countries, signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to scale up the programme in several districts. The MoU will strengthen health systems by promoting mHealth access, especially in isolated communities. Medic Mobile will also provide technical advice and support so eHealth and mHealth solutions are implemented and leveraged more effectively.
So far, it’s been implemented by 83 Village Development Committees (VDC) in Gorkha and Dhading districts. Other districts will be able to build from the initial scale.
In Baglung, the Female Community Health Volunteers (FCHV) use mHealth to remind expecting mothers of their health facility schedules and visits. The service has been successful. The Family Health Division director, Dr Naresh Pratp KC, said the mHealth and SMS services “Have been effective to increase ante-natal visits.”
The service includes:Details of pregnant mothers are entered onto an appReminders are forwarded periodically to FCHVsFCHVs are kept up to date of any complicated cases.
Ante-natal care ensures a reduced risk of complications in pregnancy. However, irregular attendance by pregnant mothers on their mandatory four visits to health facilities’s an issue. Only 69% of women visited health facilities four times. It drops to 62% in rural areas. In urban areas, the figure’s 75%.
Bhogendra Dotel, the ministry spokesperson, said the mHealth services will soon be extended to track immunisation and disease surveillance. The initiative has important lessons for Africa’s health systems. Their maternity services share equivalent challenges and priorities.
- 514 views
- August 08, 2017
- Matt Jones
Kenya launches app to protect health workers from HIV
HIV’s still a big public health challenge for Africa’s health systems and their health workers. Many health workers see HIV+ patients every day, so exposed to cross-contamination risks, such as accidental pricks from contaminated needles and surgical blades and blood and other body fluid splashes that can result in contracting the HIV virus. Kenya's Ministry of Health (MoH) has partnered with Care for Carers (C4C), a carers’ platform, to provide an app to help healthcare workers have prompt medical care for accidental exposure to infections.
It’ll provide a tool for health workers to ask for immediate attention says an article in Kenya Tech News. Post-Exposure Prophylaxis (PEP) drugs can reduce infection risk by over 80%, but have to be taken within three days of exposure. The dose’s needed for 28 days. They work by attacking and killing viruses before they cause HIV after they’ve multiplied. After the 28days, patients have to have two HIV done, each taking place after three months. Dr Martian Sirengo, head of the National Aids and STI Control Programme (Nascop), said “The time PEP is initiated, and the completion of the recommended dose is of great importance. And this new platform will help us with that.”
Health workers have to log into the C4C platform and register. It then records information such as personal, employment, demographic data and any treatments. It then provides users with detailed procedural advice the MOH guidelines. The app also sends follow-up messages to encourage and advise practitioners to adhere to the requirements and provide information on PEP drug side effects.
C4C enables county and national governments to monitor real time data on HIV exposure incidents in healthcare facilities. It also provides data on causes and risk exposure rates for locations. This can help to frame policies on safety in hospitals, creating safer working environments.
M-health and Nascop helped developed the app. It’s currently used in Kisumu, Turkana, Meru, Embu and Murang'a counties.
Kenya’ s not the only country struggling with these challenges. Other African countries need similar mHealth solutions to protect their healthcare workers.
- 682 views
- August 04, 2017
- Lesley Dobson
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