mHealth Collaboration for Social Good: Lessons on Adaptability

mHealth Collaboration for Social Good: Lessons on Adaptability

Hope Koch (Baylor University, USA), Gina Green (Baylor University, USA), Zonayed Mahid (Washington State University, USA), Shelby L. Garner (Baylor University, USA), Julia Hitchcock (Baylor University, USA), Carolin Elizabeth George (Bangalore Baptist Hospital, India) and Philip Young (Baylor University, USA)
Copyright: © 2020 |Pages: 21
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-7998-0047-7.ch016

Abstract

The World Health Organization lauds mobile health (mHealth) technology as a means of creating stronger healthcare systems and improving health-related outcomes. This chapter reports on an action research study examining the development of a mHealth technology hypertension app to help people living in India's urban slums and rural villages take better care of their health. The collaboration involved a multidisciplinary team of U.S.-based academic researchers, and India-based healthcare and technology professionals. This study suggests that traditional Western-based project management approaches alone are insufficient when developing technology for social good. Specifically, the study finds that team, process, and technology adaptability are key to successfully developing healthcare technology to serve at-risk populations in resource-constrained areas. Implications of these findings to systems development research are discussed.
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Background

This section highlights insights from the research streams that informed the study. These streams include: mHealth, systems development project management, social innovation collaboration and adaptability.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Community Health Worker: People tasked with providing basic healthcare education to marginalized populations in India; usually understand the community’s social structure and values.

Rural Village: Geographic regions in India where distance and socioeconomics conditions hinder access to mainstream education and healthcare.

Urban Slum: Geographic regions in India with high population density, limited resources and limited understanding of how to prevent non-communicable diseases.

Community Health: Hospital divisions that provide free and low-cost healthcare services to marginalized populations in India.

mHealth Hypertension App: A software application designed to teach people in India how to prevent and manage hypertension. Consists of an entertaining animation and a questionnaire to collect demographic information and assess learning.

Control: Management practices used to understand and influence the agreed-upon outcomes of a project.

Social Innovation Collaboration: Diverse stakeholders donating time and resources to address a social problem.

Adaptability: Incorporating flexibility into the technology, process and team dynamics of a project.

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