A mHealth platform to improve access to community health care for millions of people in Sub-Saharan Africa
Main beneficiary countries:Kenya - United States
Country of origin: United States
Healthcare themes targeted
Stage of development:
Area where initiative is utilised
Initiative start date
Globally, 3.7 billion people lack access to health care and six million children in developing countries die needlessly each year from diseases that are easily preventable or treatable. The African continent puts up with 24% of diseases burden and have only access to 3% of medical human resources in the world.
Because of these shortcomings, CHWs are often the first and only link to health care for hundreds of millions of people across the developing world. CHWs are trusted, knowledgeable, frontline health workers with basic health training who often come from and live in the communities they serve. While they don’t have the same highly skilled training as a nurse or doctor, CHWs bridge cultural, geographical, and linguistic barriers and still effectively address a wide range of their community’s basic and preventative health needs. CHWs expand access to health care and education by proactively bringing essential health services to their neighbors’ doorsteps at a fraction of the cost of facility-based care. A recent assessment of the Kenyan community health strategy, for example, found that high workloads, lack of accountability, lack of pay, and lack of supervision render government-managed CHWs ineffective. Despite heavy reliance on CHWs in places like Sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia, the status quo is that CHWs are typically unpaid, poorly managed, and poorly equipped. They often exist on paper, but not on the ground. Many CHWs in existing networks do not have access to mobile health tools, ultimately decreasing the visibility, transparency, and standard of care provided.
While many CHW networks still rely on paper-based reporting with little insight into real-time performance, Living Goods equips every CHW with a smartphone armed with a mHealth app. The mobile phone and app ensure consistent care, gather valuable data to enable more client-centered care, support CHWs to more effectively triage care of households and communicate with facilities about patient referrals, automate reporting to create efficiencies, and drive performance management of CHWs.
Living Goods is integrated with government systems and health facilities and continues to design the SmartHealth™ app to be more easily adopted and scaled by others. Its long-term goal is to leverage its innovations to create more seamless collaboration between the community and facility level to improve the quality and continuum of care for patients.
Currently all of Living Goods health data is shared with government partners through customized dashboards that show real-time results in their geographic area, enabling it to be counted towards DHIS2 goals. Living Goods is working to establish a seamless integration between the SmartHealth™ platform and DHIS2 in Kenya and Uganda so that data is automatically entered into the government system.
Information, education and communication for behaviour change (IEC) - Patient monitoring and medical data
7188000 Number of beneficiaries since launch
Organizational: Communities, public authorities, NGOs, associations, foundations, etc.