This work presents results from a project using smart phones as a data
collection tool for medical record keeping in low-resource settings. Those devices
were used to collect medical data and store it as an Electronic Health Record
Background: In community care, EHR could be a bridge from untrained Community
Health Workers (CHWs) to healthcare providers with timely and relevant data.
Although CHWs are the backbone of health care delivery in developing countries,
they often have little formal education and training. Providing CHWs with appropriate
training and workplace tools could improve their ability to provide quality
community based care. The field work was carried out on site in Rwanda, a country
with one of the world’s lowest doctor to patient ratios, where CHWs play an important role in
Objective: The study evaluates the feasibility and usability of a specific mobile health application, and
compares two different methods for health data collection, electronic and paper based.
Methods: The usability is measured in terms of three attributes: effectiveness, efficiency and satisfaction.
Electronic data is compared with paper-based data using two quantitative measures: Mean Absolute
Error and Mean Absolute Percentage Error.
Results: CHWs were found effective in data collection, collecting close to 2000 records from boys
and girls under the age of five. Data analysis demonstrates the evidence that these new electronic records
are more accurate, consistent and accessible than the currently paper-based records.
Conclusion: This study demonstrates that using modern electronic tools for health data collection is
allowing better tracking of health indicators.