Designs and concepts of 42 different mobile phone applications for the management of the West African Ebola Outbreak 2014/15

Read the full review here (Note: Not open access – pay per view)

Despite the increased usage of mobile technology in the management of the Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) outbreak, production of the tools with key functionalities in controlling the outbreak were significantly restricted.

Mobile Health (mHealth), utilization of mobile technology as an extension of health care, is thought to be the new medium of delivering healthcare to improve the efficacy of current practice. Despite the great potential mHealth holds, the poor productivity of mHealth usage in outbreak management was in doubt due to the lack of knowledge in the options presented to the users and the limited variety in the functionalities the tools provided.

A systematic review was conducted, combining 690 publications, to assess the current status of mHealth usage and to understand the focus area of mHealth for the development of future mHealth tools. Results show that out of the many existing key functionalities provided, ‘surveillance notification’, ‘contract tracing’, and ‘case management’ were the most common features. However, there were only three tools that supported all three of the functionalities mentioned above. Therefore, all mHealth tools should work on increasing the variety of the key functionalities to establish a better portfolio in disease surveillance and outbreak management.

 

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