An mHealth Framework to Improve Birth Outcomes in Benue State, Nigeria: A Study Protocol.

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JMIR Research Protocols






Background: The unprecedented coverage of mobile technology across the globe has led to an increase in the use of mobile health apps and related strategies to make health information available at the point of care. These strategies have the potential to improve birth outcomes, but are limited by the availability of Internet services, especially in resource-limited settings such as Nigeria. Objective: Our primary objective is to determine the feasibility of developing an integrated mobile health platform that is able to collect data from community-based programs, embed collected data into a smart card, and read the smart card using a mobile phone-based app without the need for Internet access. Our secondary objectives are to determine (1) the acceptability of the smart card among pregnant women and (2) the usability of the smart card by pregnant women and health facilities in rural Nigeria. Methods: We will leverage existing technology to develop a platform that integrates a database, smart card technology, and a mobile phone-based app to read the smart cards. We will recruit 300 pregnant women with one of the three conditions—HIV, hepatitis B virus infection, and sickle cell trait or disease—and four health facilities in their community. We will use Glasgow’s Reach, Effectiveness, Adoption, Implementation, and Maintenance framework as a guide to assess the implementation, acceptability, and usability of the mHealth platform. Results: We have recruited four health facilities and 300 pregnant women with at least one of the eligible conditions. Over the course of 3 months, we will complete the development of the mobile health platform and each participant will be offered a smart card; staff in each health facility will receive training on the use of the mobile health platform. Conclusions: Findings from this study could offer a new approach to making health data from pregnant women available at the point of delivery without the need for an Internet connection. This would allow clinicians to implement evidence-based interventions in real time to improve health outcomes.


mHealth, Smart card, HIV, Hepatitis B, Sickle cell disease, Mobile health technology, Nigeria



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