The South African Medical Research Council (SAMRC) is collaborating with the Norwegian Knowledge Centre for the Health Services, Swedish-based Karolinska Institutet and the University of Edinburgh to analyse the effects of mHealth on the performance of community care workers (CCWs) in improving the health outcomes of chronically ill patients in rural South Africa.

In June 2015, Mobenzi’s mHealth platform was deployed to outreach teams in the Eden district of the Western Cape. Over the coming months, the investigators will monitor a number of metrics and outcomes to evaluate the impact of the system, as well as carry out feedback sessions to improve the solution.

In order to ensure an effective programme, community-based NPOs as well as district and provincial health departments have been involved as key stakeholders to ensure the solution addresses the needs of those on the ground as well as centralised planning and management.

As part of the programme, CCWs have been equipped with entry-level mobile phones running the Mobenzi software. According to Mobenzi, their mHealth platform is enabling the outreach teams to streamline data collection and activity recording for CCWs and clinics; automate report generation for supervision, planning and compliance; coordinate and track communication between clinics, CCWs and patients; and assist CCWs with caseload management.

Nurse Coordinators who manage the CCW teams have been equipped with entry-level tablets running the Mobenzi software. Their interface is configured to provide access to dashboards and reports on CCW activity and generate compliance datasets for the district and province.

Local facilities have also been equipped with entry-level tablets or handsets running the Mobenzi software. Their interface is configured to provide access to the clinic client list, issue recall requests, review referrals and other routine forms.

In all cases, training material and technical support have been delivered via the device.

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