Supporting LIFE: Fighting Child Mortality

The Supporting LIFE (SL) project ran from May 2013 to April 2017. It was designed to provide low-cost, effective, and targeted interventions in remote and resource-poor settings in order to overcome inadequate healthcare infrastructures in Malawi, Southern Africa. Led by Dr John O’Donoghue from Imperial College London (UK), it included a multinational group of experts, institutions and non-governmental organisations (NGOs) in Ireland, Sweden, USA, Malawi, and Switzerland.

Final Report Factsheet

What do users think of the Supporting LIFE App and what are our hopes for the future? The following video gives some answers.

Why our app matters: Avoiding deaths by prompt treatment

Malaria and infantile diarrhoea are two major causes of mortality in children under 5 years of age. Other serious infections in this age group include pneumonia, measles and meningitis. However, only one in three children with fever are taken to a health facility. Most deaths due to serious infections such as malaria, pneumonia or dehydration in children could be avoided by prompt recognition and treatment.

Budget and approach

Supporting LIFE ran from May 2013 to April 2017 and  received over €3.6 million in funding from the European Commission Seventh Framework Programme (FP7). It applied a novel combination of smartphone technology, wireless body area network sensors and expert decision support systems to equip the Ministry of Health’s front-line healthcare workers in Malawi with mobile devices and applications to assist in their assessment, diagnosis and treatment of seriously ill children.

The Supporting LIFE project supported the healthcare workers at the patient point of care. It utilised established technology to circumvent the absent or limited healthcare infrastructure by exploiting the cellular telecommunications network, the utilisation of vital sign sensor technologies and point of care decision support systems.