Accessible mobile technology for public health data: a case study of four districts in Ghana during COVID-19
journal contributionposted on 13.09.2021, 07:08 by Kwabena Nuamah, kingsley osei
At the start of the covid-19 pandemic, it was quickly realised that technology would play a significant role in tracking and getting the spread of the virus under control. Countries such as South Korea, Singapore, China, and Japan quickly developed nationally managed mobile apps to help citizens report symptoms.
While web and mobile technologies are commonplace and part of the fabric of life in many developed countries, it is not the same across entire populations in many developing countries. In the case of Ghana, although some urban areas have access to reasonably reliable internet access and modern smartphones, it is not the experience in many other parts of the country.
In March 2020, the software development team at cognate systems decided to adapt their opine data platform to tackle the reporting and tracking of symptoms across the country. This report summarizes the resulting opine health assistant platform, its features, and how it was deployed. In particular, we highlight some data summaries from a joint project that targeted four districts in Ghana.
We make a few recommendations on how to better leverage accessible technology to tackle public health emergencies in a developing country such as Ghana.