Digital Health Solutions

Maternal and child health

Midwives in India use job aids on a mobile phone.

Photo: UW/Carl Hartung.

Approach

PATH identifies and develops information technologies for to improve maternal and child health service delivery, targeting of resources, data reporting and technology usage from the community to the national level.

Related projects

  • Common Requirements for Maternal and Child Health Information Systems: PATH is applying CRDM to maternal health services to further determine and document user and system requirements that can be applied in the development of health information systems that can then be implemented in the field. PATH is working to specifically address the lack of an insightful, integrated, and coordinated approach for developing information system solutions for maternal health in various countries that can be 1) sustainable; 2) suitable for use nationwide and, ultimately, at the global level; and 3) interoperable with other parts of a health information system in order to improve maternal care in developing countries. This project is funded though PATH’s Health Innovation Portfolio.
  • Projecting Health: Projecting Health is a methodology for community-driven behavior change communication based on locally created video content delivered by community mediators. It was developed in collaboration with Digital Green to adapt the work that they have done in the agricultural domain to health education. The current DPH project, situated in the Rae Barelli District, Uttar Pradesh, India, builds on PATH’s Sure Start project to promote best practices for maternal and neonatal health, such as safe labor and delivery, immediate breast feeding, and skin-to-skin care. Community members develop and create videos describing these practices and show the videos in group sessions with mediation to promote engagement and allow multiple influencers (such as husbands and mothers-in-law) to be involved in the discussion. The project involves 55 accredited social health activists (ASHAs) working in 27 villages, and is conducting approximately 100 disseminations per month, reaching roughly 1,500 women per month.  Preliminary data suggest improvements in knowledge and health practices may be associated with exposure to Projecting Health. Community members indicate they enjoy both acting in and viewing the videos, as it allows them an opportunity to “identify” more directly with the messages. Please click here to view some of the Projecting Health videos. This project is part of PATH’s Health Innovation Portfolio, funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
  • Mobile Midwife Platform: The mobile midwife platform improves postnatal maternal and newborn care in rural clinic- and home-based settings in India by giving midwives a mobile device for guidance on clinical decision-making, data collection, medical record storage, and patient education. Mobile health (mHealth) can enable community health workers, health centers, and national health systems to better report and use information in a timely and systematic manner. This project is part of PATH’s Health Innovation Portfolio, funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
  • Safety Management System for Human Milk Banking: Breast milk is considered a pillar of child survival; it has unique immunological and nutritional properties that help infants get a healthy start to life. For infants whose mother’s own milk is unavailable, human milk banks are a critical intervention for guaranteeing access. To ensure safe pasteurization in homes and resource-limited health care facilities, PATH is advancing a safety management system based on a platform developed by University of Washington called FoneAstra. This system leverages the use of mobile phones to precisely monitor pasteurization of donor breast milk. This project is part of PATH’s Health Innovation Portfolio, funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Click here to learn more.

Related resources

“A system for safe flash-heat pasteurization of human breast milk.” Chaudhri R, Vlachos D, Kaza J, Palludan J, Bilbao N, Martin T, et al. Presented at the 5th ACM Workshop on Networked Systems for Developing Regions, New York: 2011. Available at: http://homes.cs.washington.edu/~rohitc/foneastra_files/NSDR%202011%20camera%20ready.pdf.

Common Requirements for Maternal Health Information Systems: Produced With the Collaborative Requirements Development Methodology. Taylor C, Luchitsky A, Lubinski D, Peloso L, Wilson K. Seattle: PATH; 2013. Available at: http://www.path.org/publications/detail.php?i=2281

From Digital Study Hall to Digital Public Health. Anderson R. Seattle: University of Washington; 2012. Available at: http://homes.cs.washington.edu/~anderson/talks/2012/Change_Sept_2012_v2.pdf.

How to Foster Low-Tech Health Innovation. Chhabra E. Washington, DC: The Atlantic; August 2013. Available at: http://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2013/08/how-to-grow-low-tech-health-innovation/278451/.

Mobile Wellness Toolkit Project. Anderson R. Seattle: University of Washington; 2012. Available at: http://homes.cs.washington.edu/~anderson/talks/2012/BHI_2012.pdf.

Projecting Health: Engaging Communities Through Visual Communication. Seattle: PATH; 2014. Available online at: http://www.path.org/publications/detail.php?i=2421.

For more, visit our Resources page.