“It remains a great challenge to provide affordable, high-quality mobile services to populations who need those the most in the absence of traditional healthcare. Still, I feel we managed to bring the human perspective into the decision-making process and have established a certain level of best practice for the next generation of services to come.”
Natalia Pshenichnaya, Head of mNutrition (mAgri & mHealth programmes)
frog partnered with GSMA, a global mobile industry association representing mobile network operators, to help more people access essential healthcare information via mobile technologies. With a focus on commercially viable and sustainable mHealth solutions, the team deployed a human-centered approach that surfaces a thorough understanding of local markets and user needs. Over the course of two years, we helped launch mHealth programs in eight countries.
Outreach via Mobile
Mobile extends access to vital health information for many, especially those in emerging markets with limited resources. In fact, on average, one out of three mHealth users report that mobile services are their only source of nutrition information. With this in mind, frog and GSMA set out to launch, enhance and scale mHealth services, including maternal health, sexual and reproductive health, and community health networks.
Healthy Pregnancy, Healthy Baby
frog and GSMA supported the evolution of Healthy Pregnancy, Healthy Baby (HPHB), an mHealth value-added service (VAS) in Tanzania that delivers pregnancy and newborn health and nutrition content via SMS. Already, the service is showing incredible engagement with over 1.8M users in the first two years. The information provided is also leading to real behavior changes and an increased understanding of critical topics such as doctor-recommended breastfeeding practices.
Centering on Users
Each mHealth service is designed with real users in mind, informed by design research that allowed the team to develop a richer understanding of how people access, store and share vital health information with and without their mobile phones. Armed with this knowledge, digital service providers can better create solutions that engage with the audiences that need them most.
A Toolkit for Success
Together, the GSMA and frog team created the mHealth Design Toolkit, which details key insights from the program plus recommendations for creating commercially sustainable, mobile-based products, services and business models. Inside are design principles based on a simple, human-centered goal: increase uptake and adoption of mobile health services by centering on the needs of the real people who will use them.
1.59 M Users
The GSMA mHealth programme impacted users across 8 emerging markets: Ghana, Kenya, Malawi, Mozambique, Nigeria, Tanzania, Uganda and Zambia.
Following launch, 69 percent of mHealth users surveyed reported implementing better nutrition practices, substantial knowledge improvement over non-users.
The project’s human-centered design principles and product iteration led to increased engagement in active users.
The engagement has led to a dramatic increase in successful registrations, as well as measurable improvement in areas including nutrition, maternal health and adolescent sexual and reproductive health.
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