The Architecture of a Software System for Supporting Community-based Primary Health Care with Mobile Technology: The Mobile Technology for Community Health (MoTeCH) Initiative in Ghana

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Online Journal of Public Health Informatics


This paper describes the software architecture of a system designed in response to the health development potential of two concomitant trends in poor countries: i) The rapid expansion of community health worker deployment, now estimated to involve over a million workers in Africa and Asia, and ii) the global proliferation of mobile technology coverage and use. Known as the Mobile Technology for Community Health (MoTeCH) Initiative, our system adapts and integrates existing software applications for mobile data collection, electronic medical records, and interactive voice response to bridge health information gaps in rural Africa. MoTeCH calculates the upcoming schedule of care for each client and, when care is due, notifies the client and community health workers responsible for that client. MoTeCH also automates the aggregation of health status and health service delivery information for routine reports. The paper concludes with a summary of lessons learned and future system development needs.


The MoTeCH pilot was funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. MoTeCH is a project of the Ghana Health Service (GHS). MoTeCH would not have been possible without the leadership and contribution of Drs. Frank Nyonator, Director of Policy Planning Monitoring and Evaluation Division of the GHS and the full support of the district health management team and frontline workers in Kassena-Nankana West District of the Upper East Region. The OpenMRS and OpenXData open source software communities not only provided well-tested source code, their advice and encouragement during the year and half of MoTeCH development was invaluable. We are extremely grateful for all of the support and we hope that these communities can share in any success we may have.