by Justin Sitter on 25 June 2010
London, UK: MIT spin-out Dimagi, Inc. announces the cloud service of the open source platform for community workers (CHWs) called CommCare. This announcement comes as CommCare extends to the fifth country of its installation, and coincides with the Pacific Health Summit. CommCare is a cloud-hosted system that empowers field workers with mobile phones that run specific guideline-driven apps such as a Safe Pregnancy module. Its server application (CommCareHQ) enables an organization to coordinate health workers and view real-time data.
Connectivity, reliability, convenience and high-quality care delivery
CommCare has default modules that include patient registration, patient tracking, checklists, and workflow management. These modules can be used as-is or can be customized. To enable community health organizations to utilize these tools at minimal cost, Dimagi will provide free cloud-hosting for basic use of CommCare to groups of up to 200 workers. Service will go online for the free cloud platform in August, 2010.
CommCare has been developed in the field through close collaboration with CHWs, many implementing organizations, and was co-designed with partners from D-Tree International and the University of Washington. It is an application that guides CHWs through patient interaction forms through an easy-to-use interface. CommCare supports multiple languages and is built on the JavaROSA framework (code.javarosa.org). Most existing implementations run on inexpensive phones. Development is underway on the Android platform.
- Consistent, high-quality care: Built-in decision support, checklists, reminders and follow-up triggers help community workers adhere to protocols.
- Supervision and feedback: CommCare relays real-time information about a CHW’s activity level and work flow. It can act as an SMS hub to broadcast messages to CHWs and capture their feedback.
- Health Surveillance: CommCare captures household-level health data monitoring births, deaths, and disease incidence, providing an unprecedented population surveillance tool once at scale.
Project Case Study
CommCare is being implemented in Tanzania, Bangladesh, Mexico, and Afghanistan for various pilot projects including HIV patient management, family planning, ensuring safe pregnancy guidelines, patient referrals, and support of vulnerable children. In Tanzania, CommCare is enabling CHWs to engage, follow up on, and monitor pregnant women more effectively. The system is deployed on low-cost Nokia 3110c and 2700c phones.