Mobile and Population Health

apple-916402_640One of our goals at Purkayastha Laboratory is to inquire more into how we can improve Preventive Care and Population Health Management. We have engaged in a wide range of research to study more into the major concern about quantitative evaluations of population health. Our aim is to strike a balance between the developmental impact of mobile and population health and many other factors involved, such as the cost of implementation. In order to arrive at reliable conclusions about our research, we endeavor to rely more on empirical data through surveys and critical assessment of relevant variables involved.

In the past, we have conducted research in the Mobile-based Health Information space, most especially in the developing countries. One of the intending outcomes is to determine the effectiveness of the mobile health solution in relation to the local resources available, and also to determine the scalability of such implementation to improve the health of the people at a reduced cost. Here is a list of projects we are currently focusing on:

Cognitive Behavior Therapy:

Mobile technology is a cost-effective and scalable platform for developing a therapeutic intervention. In our lab, we are developing an application that is similar to Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT), which is effective in alleviating the depressive symptoms in users. But, our application is unique as it focuses on overcoming the shortfalls from the web-based CBT, by using a mobile application called “MoodTrainer.” This application is equipped with mobile-specific interventions and CBT modules which aim at delivering a dynamic supportive psychotherapy to the user. The “MoodTrainer” ensures that the user is constantly engaged with the application and focuses to change the negative thought process. We present MoodTrainer as a self-efficacy tool and virtual CBT that is not meant to replace a clinical caregiver. Rather, it is a supportive tool that can be used as a self- monitoring aid for the Clinicians.

Mobile Helping Babies Survive (MHBS):

mHBS (Mobile Helping Babies Survive) is a mHealth initiative to develop and deploy an integrated smartphone application suite which helps in the delivering an evidence-based neonatal resuscitation program which is specifically developed for resource-limited setting. The aim of this program is to improve health workers knowledge, skills and performance in delivering neonatal resuscitation, also to reduce the mortality rates associated with the asphyxia. This chapter walks the reader through the emergence of the HBS program, why there needs to be a mobile-based approach for delivering this training and how this system is developed using DHIS2 which is an open source software for the health information management.

We also engage in research that inquires into the quality of healthcare delivery through the practitioners. In many countries of the world, it is argued that health workers do not always have full knowledge of how to provide medical support for the patients, most especially in the rural areas. At Purkayastha Laboratory, we have engaged in research to determine how best to provide a leverage for health workers by providing infrastructures such as Internet-enabled mobile phones to aid their task.