MyHealth@Hand on tour!

Last week project managers Judith de Lange and Myrna Derksen travelled to Rwanda, Uganda and Ghana. The most important item in their luggage was a smartphone with the very first test version of the app MyHealth@Hand. MyHealth@Hand is a self-management tool for pregnant woman. The app enables women to store and access their personal health data, find personalized information about how to stay healthy during and after their pregnancy and stimulates efficient communication with their healthcare providers. Healthcare providers record health data, such as lab results and notes about physical examinations during ANC visits, in the woman’s account so that she has a digital version of her ANC booklet literally ‘at hand’.

This month the “clickable prototype” of the app, which has been developed in close collaboration with our partners from Finland (Industry62) and Estonia (Elagem) was ready to be tested with the prospective user groups: pregnant women and healthcare providers. Judith de Lange, Hanipha Kakooza (country coordinator Uganda) and Marie Michele Umulisa (country coordinator Rwanda) conducted 14 interviews in Kampala, Uganda, and 8 in Kigali, Rwanda. Myrna Derksen was supported by the staff of PharmAccess International in Ghana who interviewed 9 healthcare providers and 9 pregnant women in 5 clinics in Accra. Healthcare providers and pregnant women/mothers were guided through the different interfaces and functionalities of the application and asked about their first impressions and opinions.

Both women and healthcare providers welcomed the idea of the app. One of the women mentioned that MyHealth@Hand would “keep her company during her pregnancy”. She said: “It ‘knows’ your situation: your personal health data is stored in the app and you can keep track of your mood, based on which it provides information that is relevant to you.” The women as well as the healthcare providers were excited about the prospect of significantly less risk of losing valuable information as compared to losing the paper based ANC booklet. With MyHealth@Hand you have important information about your health at hand, always and everywhere. The healthcare providers liked the idea of having the records of their patients and communication options all at one place.

Of course, we are facing challenges, in the user-friendliness as well as in the implementation of this app in healthcare facilities. But as Health[e]Foundation we are ready to overcome these hurdles. In the coming months we will be working on solutions and further development of MyHealth@Hand. We will keep you up to date!