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10-43.net communication technology and public safety Mobile Phones for Public Health Interventions Dr. Gordon A. Gow Associate Professor Graduate Program.

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Presentation on theme: "10-43.net communication technology and public safety Mobile Phones for Public Health Interventions Dr. Gordon A. Gow Associate Professor Graduate Program."— Presentation transcript:

1 10-43.net communication technology and public safety Mobile Phones for Public Health Interventions Dr. Gordon A. Gow Associate Professor Graduate Program in Communication and Technology University of Alberta Edmonton, Canada

2 10-43.net communication technology and public safety Then … … in 1981, mobile phone meant pretty much one thing: a big suitcase full of electronic equipment, wired and bolted into a millionaires Cadillace limousine, with a three-foot steel antenna drilled through the trunk lid. (Murray Jr. 2001)

3 10-43.net communication technology and public safety … and Now We are the first generation of humans carrying powerful [networked] personal computers in our pockets. (Justin Hall 2004)

4 10-43.net communication technology and public safety mHealth … mobile technology is beginning to have a big impact is health care, especially in [developing] countries. … Soon mobile technology could play a large role in detecting, mapping and responding to epidemics. A lot of information about a recent polio outbreak in Kenya became available because health workers were using hand-held devices to collect data that used to be recorded on paper forms. (Economist, April 10, 2008)

5 10-43.net communication technology and public safety Pros and Cons Low start up cost –wireless local loop –consumer handsets –multipurpose –prepaid option Flexibility –voice services –text messaging Positive affordances –personal, mobile –always-on –camera/video Uncertain operating costs –voice rates –data rates –roaming charges –maintenance/replacement Bandwidth –circuit switched data –SMS limitations –GPRS/3G availability Negative affordances –data entry/screen size – battery life Kaplan, W. (2006). Can the ubiquitous power of mobile phones be used to improve health outcomes in developing countries? Globalization and Health. 2:9 (May 2006).

6 10-43.net communication technology and public safety Health Applications mHealth intervention –an intentional use of mobile phones for the specific purpose of modifying some health-related outcome or act. (Kaplan, 2006) Personal healthcare intervention –Medical personnel to patients adherence to medication; immunization rates –Patients to medical personnel Self reporting (e.g., blood glucose levels) Public health intervention –Wide area surveillance and notification

7 10-43.net communication technology and public safety CDC in Kenya CDC/Kenya MOH project: –household morbidity survey paper vs. PDA –disease surveillance initiative: SMS introduced –coded reporting –automated analysis –mass notification Shah, A. The Future is Now: Mobile Technology and Public Health Yale Journal of Public Health. Winter … PDA data quality is higher than paper data because of the ability to force data validation and skip routines in the field. Data collection-to-analysis time is reduced be- cause your field staff become your data entry staff. PDA data collection is cheaper because there are no printing and paper costs and no data entry staff costs.

8 10-43.net communication technology and public safety RTBP: Sri Lanka/India International Development Research Centre –Pan Asia Networking (PAN) Program PANACeA project –Evaluating RTBP (LIRNEasia) mHealth-related research questions: –To what extent can mobile phones improve the timeliness and accuracy of reporting patient data from communities to regional/national epidemiology centres? –To what extent can mobile phones improve the timeliness and effectiveness of public health interventions? (i.e., notifications about infectious disease outbreaks)

9 10-43.net communication technology and public safety The last-Mile Digitizing patient data –Test applications to support data acquisition –Assess standards for coding data –Identify unknown issues/examine known issues Transmitting patient data –Explore methods for sending data to centres –Examine notification and alert possibilities –Develop and assess procedures –Training and technology acceptance

10 10-43.net communication technology and public safety Research Activities ICT development and testing –data entry application loaded on handset ICT deployment –introduce into selected communities –provide training and operating procedures –conduct beta tests and make changes as needed Evaluation –Routine data entry combined with simulations –Assessment criteria could include: –HCI aspects, interoperability, social acceptance


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