Qualcomm initiative to save Nigerian infants


Vecna Cares, InStrat, Etisalat, Nigeria's National Primary Health Care Development Agency and Evidence for Action collaborate to improve mother and child health

At Mobile World Congress in Barcelona Qualcomm has announced that its Wireless Reach initiative members have teamed up to develop and deploy a wireless, electronic medical record (EMR) system for midwives, to help reduce infant deaths in Nigeria.

The EMR system will be deployed to clinics throughout three states within Nigeria's National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA), bringing a paperless, mobile patient registry to midwives throughout rural Nigeria.

Currently, NPHCDA midwives record patient data in paper notebooks and Regional Health Officers travel to the clinics to review the reports for accuracy. To lighten this burden and increase accuracies and efficiencies, this Wireless Reach-funded project features a cloud-based electronic medical record system.

The system is based on Vecna Cares' CliniPAK software and 3G-enabled tablets powered by Qualcomm Snapdragon processors to streamline and automate the in-field data capture and reporting process and help improve health outcomes.

The CliniPAK 360 Mobile Health Application project uses the accelerated adoption rate of mobile technologies in Nigeria and aligns with NPHCDA's strategy of integrating mobile technology into its field-based health management network.

Nigeria is Africa's most populous country. It also has maternal and infant mortality rates that are among the world's highest. The US Central Intelligence Agency estimates in The World Factbook that Nigeria experienced approximately 630 maternal deaths per 100,000 live births in 2010 and approximately 73 infant deaths per 1,000 live births in 2013. In comparison, the maternal death rate in developed countries is approximately nine per 100,000.

As part of the project, each midwife uses a tablet to record patient data at the point of care. The data is transmitted wirelessly via Etisalat's 3G mobile network to the CliniPAK central server, which aggregates and synchronises the data with clinic-based CliniPAK units.

The system supports midwives as they interact with patients by alerting them to risk factors and red flags based on information assembled at the point of care. The system also allows clinicians and midwives to more closely track at-risk patients and make timely, more informed, decisions about patient care.

In addition, policy leaders at NPHCDA will also have access to the data and use the pilot project to establish the foundation for their entire medical record system.

The project's pilot phase is currently underway in seven NPHCDA clinics in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT). InStrat Global Health Solutions serves as the local programme manager with responsibility for technology implementation, training and support, and has closely monitored the evolution of the project while also preparing to implement the project in two additional states in February.

Qualcomm's Wireless Reach initiative includes: Vecna Cares Charitable Trust, the non-profit arm of Vecna Technologies; InStrat Global Health Solutions, a turnkey health care solutions provider; Etisalat, a Nigerian telecommunications operator; Nigeria's NPHCDA, a part of the Federal Ministry of Health; and Evidence for Action, a campaign to ensure Africa's mothers and babies survive pregnancy and childbirth.

The goal of this programme is to improve health outcomes, reduce maternal and infant mortality rates, enable faster response to public health threats and facilitate better coordination of health resources. All project collaborators hope the project will grow and replicate to locations throughout Nigeria upon completion of the pilot.


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