Mobile Apps to Support Community Health Workers: Adapting Trusted Content to New Mediums

Lily Walkover and Robin Young | IntraHealth | July 10, 2012

....In developing countries around the world, as many as 50% of people are now using cell phones1. Access to cell phones is certainly greater than access to reliable health care and health information! Yet in the emerging field of mHealth—the use of mobile phones to support health—the focus has veered significantly toward data collection.  At Hesperian Health Guides (publisher of Where There Is No Doctor), we’ve been part of a conversation to expand that focus and include using mobile phones to deliver health information to community health workers and the people they support.

Health educators all over the world have told us how they have adapted our print resources to their needs. At times this has meant literally cutting up images and text with scissors in order to prepare presentations, handouts, and other materials to provide accessible health information to their communities. This hunger for resources combined with enormous user creativity has motivated us to design mobile apps that not only make health information more accessible, but also facilitate adaptation, feedback, translation, and conversion into new formats for lower-end mobile technologies.