Mar 23, 2015
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The Qualcomm Wireless Reach-funded CliniPAK360 project works with frontline health workers to improve maternal and infant care in Nigeria. When the Ebola virus outbreak became a public health threat in West Africa, our project team quickly mobilized to create a way to adapt our established mobile platform to curb the outbreak. For the project, we had already been using a platform that utilizes 3G to provide frontline health workers immediate access to current patient data. We were able to transition quickly and use it to educate health workers in Nigeria, Sierra Leone and Liberia about the Ebola virus and ways to identify and treat potential patients.
I have the privilege of being the Wireless Reach project manager overseeing these efforts and am thrilled with how we’ve progressed since the project’s inception. The latest results were announced on March 12th at an event held at The Brookings Institution in Washington, D.C. The event was called “Mobile technology and mHealth: The newest frontline in health care innovation in Africa,” and the room (plus the livestream) was packed with more than 380 project stakeholders, players in the mHealth ecosystem, government representatives, and media outlets.
VP of Qualcomm Government Affairs Nate Tibbits provided opening remarks regarding our role and outlook on mHealth at this Wireless Reach-sponsored event. Brookings Vice President Darrell West moderated a lively and informative panel discussion about the CliniPAK360 project with executives from our project collaborator organizations, including Vecna Cares Charitable Trust, InStrat Global Health Solutions, and the National Primary Health Care Development Agency of Nigeria.
West also announced a number of interesting findings from his new paper, “Using Mobile Technology to Improve Maternal Health and Fight Ebola: A Case Study of Mobile Innovation in Nigeria,” which referenced our Wireless Reach project.
The CliniPAK360 project, launched publicly at Mobile World Congress in 2014, has now been deployed in four Nigerian states. As of January 2015, it has reached more than 91,000 patients, 255 midwives and 51 clinics. This project has exceeded our expectations by growing rapidly and adapting to address multiple global health issues. Ondo State, just one of the Nigerian states in which we are implementing, has expressed a strong interest in scaling to as many as 200 more Primary Health Centers.
To deal with the Ebola crisis, the CliniPAK360 project platform was also used to disseminate surveys assessing frontline health workers’ knowledge and attitudes about Ebola throughout Nigeria. The results of this survey then shaped a tutorial with information concerning Ebola and a response management algorithm that provides step-by-step instructions on how to treat a patient presenting symptoms.
Wireless Reach also funded a collaboration between Vecna Cares and the International Rescue Committee in Liberia as well as the International Medical Corps in Sierra Leone to develop specific workflows for Ebola treatment units (ETUs). It provides features for decision support in triaging patients and allows information to be shared between red and green zones.
Our entire project team is encouraged by our initial results as it helps to highlight the use of our project platform, CliniPAK360, for communication, capacity building, and disease surveillance & response. We’re optimistic that the CliniPAK360 solution will continue to achieve local sustainability and expand throughout West Africa.