Starting with small health data opportunities for mHealth in Africa

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Heavin, Ciara
O'Connor, Yvonne
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The need to obtain data to understand effective and available child mortality-reducing control measures in rural areas of developing countries is great. Evidence shows that this challenge can potentially be overcome with the increased availability of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) to support the data/information/ knowledge needs of healthcare delivery services in low resource settings. Recognising the benefits of ICT and the need for improvements in the Nigerian health sector, this paper outlines the plans for the technical feasibility assessment of the IMPACT (usIng Mobile Phones for Assessing, Classifying and Treating sick children) smartphone application to capture, store and analyse of child health assessment data. IMPACT is a secure, scalable, user friendly mobile health (mHealth) innovation that is being developed to support ‘small data’ capabilities within the context of healthcare in the community in Enugu State, Nigeria, Africa. Notwithstanding the heightened focus on ‘big data’ in health, this research is interested in investigating the opportunities associated with doing ‘small healthcare data’ well, with the long term view of building to the big data scenario for healthcare in the community in Enugu. This paper outlines the plan for the IMPACT project considering the implications for health data, knowledge management in healthcare and the big data opportunities to support disease surveillance, healthcare delivery and resourcing and healthcare practitioner education.
Data , IMPACT application , Information and communication technologies , Knowledge management and big data , Mobile health (mHealth)
Heavin, C. and O'Connor, Y. (2016) 'Starting with small health data opportunities for mHealth in Africa', International Journal of Design & Nature and Ecodynamics, 11 (3):338-351. doi: 10.2495/DNE-V11-N3-338-351
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