Helpdesk Report: The Use of Mobile Phones to Improve Communication from Lower to Higher Tier Health Workers

Abstract

Query

What information is available from developing countries on the promotion of use of mobile phones (and telemedicine) by the government or NGOs, to improve communications and referrals from lower tier health workers (such as SBAs and multipurpose workers) to higher level health workers such as medical doctors in the periphery and district. Please can evidence be provided about increased consultations and improvement in performance indicators as a result of these schemes.

Overview

mHealth refers to medical and public health practice supported by mobile devices.  Mobile phones and internet technology are being used in developing countries for health projects with some success. The bulk of the literature is on phones being used for workers to communicate with patients and for reporting and surveillance, rather than for communication between health workers. There is more information on health workers using technology for accessing medical information and for training.

This report includes information on:

  • Literature on the use of mobiles for communication between health workers
  • General research on the use of mobile phones for health in development
  • A selection of recent evidence of mobile phones improving performance

Citation

Bolton, L. Helpdesk Report: The Use of Mobile Phones to Improve Communication from Lower toHigher Tier Health Workers. Human Development Resource Centre, UK (2010) 8 pp.

Helpdesk Report: The Use of Mobile Phones to Improve Communication from Lower to Higher Tier Health Workers

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