mHealth projects in Africa improved some aspects of health care

Citation: Aranda-Jan CB, Mohutsiwa-Dibe N, Loukanova S. Systematic review on what works, what does not work and why of implementation of mobile health (mHealth) projects in Africa. BMC Public Health 2014; 14(1): 188

What is this? The COVID-19 pandemic is placing a strain on healthcare systems across the world. Existing research on the implementation of mobile health (mHealth) projects may provide useful information for policy makers.

In this systematic review, the authors searched for research that evaluated the implementation of mHealth projects in Africa. They restricted their search to articles published in English between 2003 and June 2013. They included 19 pilot studies, 11 randomized trials, 4 mixed method studies, 3 cross-sectional studies, 2 cohort studies, 1 qualitative study, 2 literature reviews and 2 cost-analysis studies.

What was found: In general, mHealth projects in Africa showed positive health-related outcomes, improved delivery of services, improved patient adherence to treatment, more efficient patient follow-up, decreased travel costs for patients and improved health workers’ adherence to clinical guidelines.

The success of mHealth projects in Africa was based on accessibility, acceptance by patients and staff, low-cost of the technology, effective adaptation to local contexts, strong stakeholder collaboration and government involvement.

Threats to the effectiveness of mHealth projects in Africa include dependency on funding, unclear healthcare system responsibilities and unreliable infrastructure challenge their implementation.

The cost-effectiveness of mHealth in Africa is uncertain

 

Disclaimer: This summary has been written by staff and volunteers of Evidence Aid in order to make the content of the original document accessible to decision makers who are searching for the available evidence on the coronavirus (COVID-19) but may not have the time, initially, to read the original report in full. This summary is not intended as a substitute for the medical advice of physicians, other health workers, professional associations, guideline developers, or national governments and international agencies. If readers of this summary think that the evidence that is presented within it is relevant to their decision-making they should refer to the content and details of the original article, and the advice and guidelines offered by other sources of expertise, before making decisions. Evidence Aid cannot be held responsible for any decisions made about the coronavirus (COVID-19) on the basis of this summary alone.

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