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
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