eHealth has the potential to improve healthcare in low- and middle-income countries. However, only with adequate training can eHealth reach its full potential. This is why Supporting LIFE partners have developed a course “Introduction to ICT and eHealth” for Malawi Health Surveillance Assistants (HSAs).
A first feasibility study from 2015 indicated that the Supporting LIFE application has the potential to improve the clinical outcomes of children. In a more extensive and quantitative study, Supporting LIFE now wants to measure this effect in order to give decision-makers the information they need to improve healthcare services.
For the clinical trials, Supporting LIFE aims to recruit 100 health surveillance assistants from Nkhata Bay and Rumphi districts in Northern Malawi. The trials are planned to start in October/November 2016. Once the results have been analysed and interpreted, a summary of results will be presented to the Malawi Ministry of Health.
eHealth solutions promise to improve health outcomes, particularly in developing countries. However, they can reach their full potential only if community health workers are adequately trained at using ICT and eHealth applications. This is why Supporting LIFE partners Luke International and Imperial College London, together with Norwegian Church Aid, developed a training course for community health workers in Malawi.
The courses were conducted in November and December 2015, a few photos and more information can be found on the website of the Malawi eHealth Research Centre.
The SL team are currently investigating on the ground the usability, and acceptability of the SL eCCM app to HSAs and the feasibility of using it to clinically manage children presenting to village clinics in Malawi. The overall goal of this study is to improve standards of care and to establish ways to ameliorate many of the existing barriers to healthcare delivery in low-income settings. The image on the left illustrates disease surveillance thus far in the study.
The first official Supporting LIFE (SL) report to the European Comission has been approved with no revisions requested. View the Report Summary.
The project is progressing well, with as of December 2014, version 5.0 of the SL eCCM App released. Moreover, SUPPORTING LIFE members have completed a working paper on feasible techniques as well as a report on software solution and design and also undertook systematic reviews to assess the diagnostic value of vital signals as well as an electronic version of an IMCI. Along with this there is also some more good news: There will be a field study in Malawi this coming September.
The 2015 International Workshop on Personalisation and Adaptation in Technology for Health (PATH 2015) will be held in conjunction with the 23rd Conference on User Modelling, Adaptation and Personalisation (UMAP 2015) at Trinity College, Dublin, Ireland (29th June – 3rd July 2015, day TBC).
The call for papers is open; submission deadline: 20 March 2015.This full day workshop will showcase innovative user modelling, personalisation and adaptation research that focuses on promoting access, improving efficiency and enhancing quality using technology within healthcare. It aims to connect the more theoretical work in user modelling and personalisation with the more grounded needs of healthcare workers and manufacturers to promote research that is timely, innovative, and focused on the needs of users.
It builds on five previous workshops presented at UM 2005, UM 2007, 21st IEEE CBMS (2008), AIME 2009 and EHealth 2010, as well as the special issue on Personalisation for E-Health in UMUAI 2011.
Our Malawian project partner Luke International Norway (LIN) has performed the first successful test CCM (Community Case Management) assessment with the Supporting LIFE app in rural Malawi.
The patient data, comprising of diagnosis and recommended treatments, was subsequently uploaded to our cloud-based server. Incorporated within this data record is the GPS (i.e. Global Positioning System) coordinates of the location in which the test assessment was performed. This allows us to visually represent the location-based details of medical assessments on a visual map on the sl-technology.eu website and will in turn facilitate sophisticated disease surveillance management as part of the planned clinical trial.
Siobhán O'Connor, a PhD student at UCC and Consortium member, has won a prestigious TEDMED Frontline Scholarship for the Supporting LIFE app. She will present the app at TEDMED’s annual conference in Washington DC, starting on 10 September. Congratulations to Siobhán!
Jenny Hsieh of the Malawian project partner Luke International Norway (LIN) is evaluating the Supporting LIFE app in a Malawi village clinic called Kaswiti with the local Health Surveillance Assistant (HSA) Jane Manda. The feedback collected from the support of the Malawi HSAs will feed directly in to future releases of the app. The next release of the Supporting LIFE App (4.0) is scheduled for the 30th of September.
In an interactive infographic, Supporting LIFE explains its objectives, rationale and shows a preview of the Supporting LIFE app.