The Grameen Foundation believes that mobile technology holds out great potential to save lives and improve health. Their belief that believe that delivering relevant and actionable information over mobile phones will encourage individuals (either patients or providers) to take action that will improve health outcomes led them to develop the MOTECH system. Currently being used in several districts in Ghana, MOTECH comprises two distinct functions:
- Through the MOTECH “Mobile Midwife” application, pregnant women and their families are accessing pre‐recorded local language voice messages on mobile phones that provide actionable information tailored to their week in pregnancy. Pregnancy messages include reminders about antenatal care visits, encouragement to deliver at a health facility, information on nutrition, malaria‐prevention, hygiene, and other relevant topics. After the baby is born, messages switch to child care and post‐delivery care for the mother, and continue throughout the newborn’s first year of life.
- The MOTECH “Nurse Application” enables nurses to electronically record patient care data using mobile phones. Data uploaded to the database from the mobile phones can then be aggregated for routine data reporting, saving nurses the 5 days a month that it usually takes to prepare reports. The electronic system is also increasing the accuracy of client data and its utility for planning as it enables nurses to easily track the care record of the woman or child. The Mobile Midwife and Nurses Applications are linked to create a safety net for women reminding them and the nurses when a client is due for care, and alerting the nurse and the woman when care is overdue.
As the Foundation have expanded their work, however, they have discovered that many women – particularly in rural districts – do not have access to their own phones and even where they do, many are unsure how the system works. It’s for this reason that we have awarded Grameen a grant of £14,947 to enable them to build a network of Mobile Midwife Agents (MMAs) who will provide access to MOTECH messaging to expectant and new mothers. These MMAs will recruit new clients, train women how to access messages and use the system, promote group discussions and meetings for new mothers and ensure that they attend follow-up consultations at their local clinic or hospital.