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HealthBook

Larsson, Johan LU (2010) MMK920 20101
Product Development
Abstract
Title: HealthBook
Sub title: Integrated End-User Device for Rural Health Workers in Low Resource Settings
Author: Johan Larsson
Supervisor: Goirgos Nikoleris, Machine Design
Secondary supervisor: Rustam Nabiev, Karolinska University, MTA R&D
Examiner: Robert Bjärnemo, Machine Design

Introduction: This thesis is part of a project called ICT4MPOWER with the purpose to solve the problem with medical personnel in rural areas, who have little or no information about their patients. They also have problems to get support in emergency situations and communication between health units does not exist. This leads to people being misdiagnosed and/or mistreated, which in worst case results in the death of people. This thesis is about solving... (More)
Title: HealthBook
Sub title: Integrated End-User Device for Rural Health Workers in Low Resource Settings
Author: Johan Larsson
Supervisor: Goirgos Nikoleris, Machine Design
Secondary supervisor: Rustam Nabiev, Karolinska University, MTA R&D
Examiner: Robert Bjärnemo, Machine Design

Introduction: This thesis is part of a project called ICT4MPOWER with the purpose to solve the problem with medical personnel in rural areas, who have little or no information about their patients. They also have problems to get support in emergency situations and communication between health units does not exist. This leads to people being misdiagnosed and/or mistreated, which in worst case results in the death of people. This thesis is about solving some of those problems by developing a user friendly, simple, affordable and portable device named HealthBook. By using this device, Rural Health Workers can provide affordable and accessible health services to rural populations. The HealthBook consists of a computer that is optimal for rural environments, its users and is equipped with a communication link so medical personnel can document health interventions and communicate information with other medical personnel.

Method: A field investigation was performed to acquire information on other organizations and companies that are developing similar devices for rural health workers, and also which underlying technologies that are used. To make the product specification correct from the start user interviews was preformed to identify user needs and then translated into specification that can be easily evaluated and understood. Existing products on the market was benchmarked depending on the established specification. Some of the specification could not be met therefore a solution was developed according a product development method. This method includes concept generation, prototype construction and evaluation. A variable that has been important during the whole process is the product total life cycle cost.

Result: The result of this thesis is a central device that is optimal for what it is supposed to do; provide possibilities for communicating to and from medical personnel in remote and isolated environments. Communication between HealthBook and the other health units will go through GPRS, because it is the most practical and reliable solution. HealthBook is easy to use with intuitive and appealing design. To cope with the rural environment the system is dust, shock and spill protected and the screen is functional in sunlight. The battery time is sufficient to manage a whole working day for the medical personnel. HealthBook is also affordable to purchase but most of all it is cheap to maintain which makes it a sustainable product that will help medical personnel for a long time forward.

Discussion: This project will in the initial phase help hundreds of medical personnel get information to treat their patients with better methods and knowledge. If the first test phase in Isingiro district in Uganda is a success the potential for the project is very big, spanning over the whole east Africa and several hundred thousand end users. But this thesis is part of a larger project and the success of it depends not on this part alone, but that every project part is good. To receive more precise product specification and thus give the project a bigger chance of success more user interviews could have been performed. (Less)
Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:
author
Larsson, Johan LU
supervisor
organization
alternative title
Integrated End-User Device for Rural Health Workers in Low Resource Settings
course
MMK920 20101
year
type
H2 - Master's Degree (Two Years)
subject
keywords
HealthBook, Uganda, Rural setting, Rugged computer, Product development, Benchmark, aid, ICT4MPOWER, e-health
language
English
id
1790008
date added to LUP
2011-10-11 15:28:29
date last changed
2014-11-26 14:42:09
@misc{1790008,
  abstract     = {Title: HealthBook
Sub title: Integrated End-User Device for Rural Health Workers in Low Resource Settings
Author: Johan Larsson
Supervisor: Goirgos Nikoleris, Machine Design
Secondary supervisor: Rustam Nabiev, Karolinska University, MTA R&D
Examiner: Robert Bjärnemo, Machine Design

Introduction: This thesis is part of a project called ICT4MPOWER with the purpose to solve the problem with medical personnel in rural areas, who have little or no information about their patients. They also have problems to get support in emergency situations and communication between health units does not exist. This leads to people being misdiagnosed and/or mistreated, which in worst case results in the death of people. This thesis is about solving some of those problems by developing a user friendly, simple, affordable and portable device named HealthBook. By using this device, Rural Health Workers can provide affordable and accessible health services to rural populations. The HealthBook consists of a computer that is optimal for rural environments, its users and is equipped with a communication link so medical personnel can document health interventions and communicate information with other medical personnel. 

Method: A field investigation was performed to acquire information on other organizations and companies that are developing similar devices for rural health workers, and also which underlying technologies that are used. To make the product specification correct from the start user interviews was preformed to identify user needs and then translated into specification that can be easily evaluated and understood. Existing products on the market was benchmarked depending on the established specification. Some of the specification could not be met therefore a solution was developed according a product development method. This method includes concept generation, prototype construction and evaluation. A variable that has been important during the whole process is the product total life cycle cost. 

Result: The result of this thesis is a central device that is optimal for what it is supposed to do; provide possibilities for communicating to and from medical personnel in remote and isolated environments. Communication between HealthBook and the other health units will go through GPRS, because it is the most practical and reliable solution. HealthBook is easy to use with intuitive and appealing design. To cope with the rural environment the system is dust, shock and spill protected and the screen is functional in sunlight. The battery time is sufficient to manage a whole working day for the medical personnel. HealthBook is also affordable to purchase but most of all it is cheap to maintain which makes it a sustainable product that will help medical personnel for a long time forward. 

Discussion: This project will in the initial phase help hundreds of medical personnel get information to treat their patients with better methods and knowledge. If the first test phase in Isingiro district in Uganda is a success the potential for the project is very big, spanning over the whole east Africa and several hundred thousand end users. But this thesis is part of a larger project and the success of it depends not on this part alone, but that every project part is good. To receive more precise product specification and thus give the project a bigger chance of success more user interviews could have been performed.},
  author       = {Larsson, Johan},
  keyword      = {HealthBook,Uganda,Rural setting,Rugged computer,Product development,Benchmark,aid,ICT4MPOWER,e-health},
  language     = {eng},
  note         = {Student Paper},
  title        = {HealthBook},
  year         = {2010},
}