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Alumni Dispatches

Urging Use of mHealth Applications

Marie Tien, MHS ’00

Marie Tien As a public health professional, one of my most interesting projects has been to help transform Nigeria’s health data collection program from a paper-based system to a mobile, electronic system.

As part of the USAID | DELIVER PROJECT, my colleagues at John Snow, Inc. (JSI) and I traveled to Nigeria for several weeks, where we trained dozens of data collectors to conduct surveys using cell phones, and share important data with decision makers.

Using a java-based mobile phone application, we implemented a system where data is gathered on phones and uploaded from the field to automatically populate an online database. This in turn streamlined the data management process and reduced the time required for traditional paper-based data collection and manual entry into a database. As a result, I’ve seen quicker data analysis and dissemination, which means stakeholders can make decisions based on near real-time information.

To put my experience into context, my role was just part of the larger mHealth (mobile health) solution implemented in the USAID | DELIVER PROJECT and other JSI projects. As a team, host country governments and JSI have used mobile phones to conduct large-scale assessments in the public health sector in a dozen countries in Africa and Asia.

Given the improved reporting and M&E data that I’ve seen following mHealth program implementation, I urge public health stakeholders to continue to consider mHealth applications as viable solutions to capture and share vital public health data.

Marie Tien and JSI colleagues trained dozens of data collectors to use mobile phones to implement the reproductive health logistics indicators assessment survey, Abuja, Nigeria, August 2011.


This forum is closed
  • Fleury

    France 02/16/2012 04:10:26 PM

    Marie Tien,

    Very interesting project !

    I have been working at GSMA and WHO where I dealt with workforce management / paper based to electronic human resource infomation system.

    We surely should get in touch to strenghten our experiences.

    Wishing you a great day Reynald

  • Lawrence Kwaghga

    Sokoto, Nigeria 03/09/2012 08:35:56 AM

    Great works!!

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