Treating HIV with antriretroviral treatment (ARV) medication can be very challenging, given how complicated it can be to dispense these pills correctly. Especially in remote clinics throughout the world, it can be difficult for clinicians to distribute ARVs because they require customized mixes of medication based on the specific symptoms of individual patients in order to be effective.
To help clinicians to correctly prescribe antiretrovirals, Dr. Musaed Abrahams, an alumnus of our mHealth – Mobile Phones for Public Health online course, has launched a mobile app for managing antriretroviral treatment (ARV) medication in South Africa.
The Aviro HIV mobile app acts as a virtual mentor for clinicians to easily consult for proper ARV (Anti-retroviral) initiation and treatment during the patient consult. Designed for Android and based on the current South African guidelines, it provides real-time, immediate feedback and guidance for the clinician, so that excellent and reliable care can be delivered to every patient. Following a care checklist, it gives clinical prompts aiming to educate and raise the standard of patient care.
Aviro featured on a national news broadcaster in South Africa
We asked Musaed to tell us more about his new mHealth Android app below.
1. What personal experiences of yours inspired this app?
I have worked for Medicines Sans Frontiers (MSF) for over 6 years, training clinicians throughout Southern Africa on the best practices on HIV Care. Through my experience I quickly recognized some of the challenges nurses and clinicians face day to day with changing guidelines and lack of training resources. I also recognized that many nurses were using technology informally, and were conversant with their mobile technology.
My aim was to create an app that can bridge the training and information gap with the already existing technology – particularly with mobile phones.The Aviro HIV app was created with this goal at the forefront. Providing a mobile tool for doctors and nurses, using technology to simplify the initiation and management of patients on anti-retroviral therapy (ART), with connectivity providing further referral support for complex patients.
2. What impact did the TechChange mHealth online course you took have on designing and launching this app?
This mHealth online course gave me an overview of different components of mhealth and how they interlink – specifically monitoring and evaluation, communication and decision tree support tools which were my interest. I valued most the practical examples/case studies and insights from the developing world and their implementations of mHealth projects, and challenges that they needed to overcome. Although I was already conversant in human-centered design, the HCD-focused workshop in the course rounded out my knowledge in this area while being engaging and informative.
3. What exactly went into creating this Aviro mHealth app?
It was a team effort involving those with both HIV technical expertise as well as mobile development. We collaborated with the best medical expertise on HIV including James Nutall, Graeme Meintjes, and Ashraf Coovadia to design treatment algorithms. We incorporated human design thinking principles when working with African digital artist, Jepchumba to do the user experience (UX) design in collaboration with nurses on the ground in South Africa. Funding was provided with a partnership with MTN Foundation, Aviro’s technology partner. In addition, we partnered with nurse and clinician organizations, the Anova Health Institute and Southern African Clinician Society, for testing implementation of the app.
4. How successful has it been so far? (Any metrics you can share?)
We just launched the app at Social Media Week and Southern African Clinicians Society last week and have had over 300 downloads by South African nurses and doctors. we have interest from the SA National Dept of Health in adopting the app nationwide. Currently, we are working on an iPhone/iOS version of the app and will keep updating the app with new versions as we get more downloads and feedback.
Clinicians test Aviro
About Musaed Abrahams
Musaed has worked and trained in Southern Africa as a HIV Training coordinator of MSF (doctors without borders). With over 5 years experience of coordinating HIV courses for nurses and doctors, with trainings in South Africa, Mozambique, Malawi and Zimbabwe he has developed innovative educational approaches to medical training.
Interested in mHealth to use mobile phones to improve healthcare delivery? Enroll now in the same course that Musaed took, mHealth – Mobile Phones for Public Health which runs from November 17 – December 12, 2014.