mHealth Technology Translation in a Limited Resources Community – Process, Challenges, and Lessons Learned from a Limited Resources Community of Chiang Mai Province, Thailand
Objective: This report aims to provide practical advice about the implementation of a public health monitoring system using both geographic information system technology and mobile health, a term used for healthcare delivery via mobile devices. application amongst household residents and community stakeholders in the limited resource community. Methods: A public health monitoring system was implemented in a semi-rural district in Thailand. The challenges encountered during implementation were documented qualitatively in a series of monthly focus group discussions, several community hearings, and many targeted interviews. In addition, lessons learned from the expansion of the program to 75 other districts throughout Thailand were also considered. Results: All challenges proved solvable yielding several key pieces of advice for future project implementation teams. Specifically, communication between team members, anticipating technological challenges, and involvement of community members are critical. Discussion: The problems encountered in our project were mainly related to the capabilities of the data collectors and technical issues of mobile devices, internet coverage, and the GIS application itself. During the implementation phase, progressive changes needed to be made to the system promptly, in parallel with community team building in order to get the highest public health impact.