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Open Access Technical advance

Application of smart phone in "Better Border Healthcare Program": A module for mother and child care

Jaranit Kaewkungwal12*, Pratap Singhasivanon2, Amnat Khamsiriwatchara1, Surasak Sawang12, Pongthep Meankaew1 and Apisit Wechsart3

Author affiliations

1 Center of Excellence for Biomedical and Public Health Informatics (BIOPHICS) Faculty of Tropical Medicine, Mahidol University, Bangkok, Thailand

2 Department of Tropical Hygiene, Faculty of Tropical Medicine, Rajavithi Campus, Mahidol University, Bangkok, Thailand

3 Tanowsri Health Center, Suan Phung, Ratchaburi Provincial Health Office. Ratchaburi, Thailand

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Citation and License

BMC Medical Informatics and Decision Making 2010, 10:69  doi:10.1186/1472-6947-10-69

Published: 3 November 2010

Abstract

Background

To assess the application of cell phone integrating into the healthcare system to improve antenatal care (ANC) and expanded programme on immunization (EPI) services for the under-served population in border area.

Methods

A module combining web-based and mobile technology was developed to generate ANC/EPI visit schedule dates in which the healthcare personnel can cross-check, identify and update the mother's ANC and child's EPI status at the healthcare facility or at the household location when performing home visit; with additional feature of sending appointment reminder directly to the scheduled mother in the community.

Results

The module improved ANC/EPI coverage in the study area along the country border including for both Thai and non-Thai mothers and children who were either permanent resident or migrants; numbers of ANC and EPI visit on-time as per schedule significantly increased; there was less delay of antenatal visits and immunizations.

Conclusions

The module integrated and functioned successfully as part of the healthcare system; it is proved for its feasibility and the extent to which community healthcare personnel in the low resource setting could efficiently utilize it to perform their duties.