In northern Pakistan, the Hayat mobile application developed by the Aga Khan University helps field workers to track the health services delivered, such as immunisations for children.
In northern Pakistan, the Hayat mobile application developed by the Aga Khan University helps field workers to...
AKDN's Digital Health Resource Centre (dHRC) collaborates with national and international partners to design and develop high-impact, low-cost health products and applications that address health problems in the developing world. Collaborations also focus on bringing about behaviour change, improving the quality of care, and making healthcare delivery more efficient and more patient-centred.
The Hayat Surveillance app was developed by AKDN dHRC in collaboration with the Aga Khan Health Service, Pakistan (AKHS, P). It is a tablet-based, digital surveillance tool used by health workers and designated community volunteers working at AKHS, P clinics and labs in the Gilgit-Baltistan and Chitral region. It provides population-level surveillance and reporting of COVID-19 disease tracking in remote regions.
The app aims to trace and track patients, who are suspected, probable or confirmed to have contracted COVID-19, through home care, referral for advanced care, lab results (PCR and immunoassays), and disease outcome. It traces and tracks close contacts of probable and confirmed patients with COVID-19.
The app is helping develop a powerful database and portal for the reporting and monitoring of COVID-19 cases, their progress and isolation efforts. It is helping healthcare administrators and policymakers understand the geographic spread and map hotspots of the outbreak in order to design response strategies. This will help identify outbreaks and clusters early during future outbreaks so prevention and response measures can be taken in an appropriate and timely manner. It will also guide prevention and early alarm activities such as vaccination and sero-surveillance.
The Hayat Surveillance tool is Android based and is a component of the Hayat app, which is already being used in select regions in Gilgit-Baltistan and Chitral by community health workers.
Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, emergency response strategies worldwide have leveraged mobile technologies in various ways to contain the spread of the virus, curtail damage and ease the burden on healthcare systems working to simultaneously meet the medical needs of COVID-19 patients and provide essential healthcare services.
AKDN dHRC has contributed to the response efforts by developing and launching the CoronaCheck mobile app. This aims to curb COVID-19 infection rates and reduce footfall at the Aga Khan Development Network health facilities.
It is an Android-based mobile application, available on the Google Play Store. It consists of a self-assessment tool to help the general population safely screen themselves at home. To raise awareness among the masses and fight the COVID-19 “infodemic”, the app is equipped with educational videos.
The self-assessment tool is an interactive Artificial Intelligence (AI)-based survey. It enables users to determine their risk of acquiring the disease based on an intelligent analysis of their responses regarding their symptoms and medical history. A counseling preface then guides the user to either take appropriate physical distancing measures or to get tested. The location of the nearest testing centre and a list of national helplines is also provided. The educational videos are sourced from the World Health Organization (WHO) and focus on physical distancing measures, symptoms of the virus and how not to spread infection.
CoronaCheck was launched in April 2020 in Pakistan and received significant media coverage as the first of its kind digital self-screening application of the country. The launch was followed by implementation in Tanzania in May 2020, in Tajikistan in June 2020, in Kenya in August 2020 and in Mozambique in October 2020. The application, along with the self-assessment tool, is translated into local languages, i.e. Urdu for Pakistan, Swahili for East Africa and Tajik for Tajikistan, to help populations gain a comprehensive understanding of the virus and methods to lower their risk of infection from an authentic source. An audio feature is also included in the local languages to enhance accessibility and interaction.
CoronaCheck aims to strengthen existing health systems by addressing the need for rapid and early testing, screening and awareness raising during the pandemic. This leads to reduced number of visits to health facilities, thereby ensuring that critical resources such as testing kits and health workers’ time are allocated toward those most in need. Further plans are to launch the application in Afghanistan and Syria under the COVID-19 Innovation Research Project.
Hayat is a mHealth innovation, which aims to empower frontline health workers with digital health technologies in efforts to increase coverage of and access to routine immunisation, maternal, new-born and child care (MNCH) and child growth services in Afghanistan and Pakistan.
dHRC has developed an mHealth application, PurUmeed Aghaaz, to assess the effectiveness of coaching in improving nutrition and the use of supplements (such as folic acid, iron and Vitamin D) during pregnancy, compared to standard counselling. More
In 2016, the Aga Khan University, Karachi, launched Umeed-e-Nau. This is a project aimed at improving maternal, child, and adolescent health in Pakistan. Umeed-e-Nau (meaning ‘new hope’ in Urdu), is a five-year research project, funded by a USD $25m grant from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. The research aims to assess the various approaches, insights, and evidence around maternal, child and adolescent health care. More
In collaboration with the Novartis Foundation, AKDN dHRC has developed an Electronic Tool to Improve Quality of Health (eTIQH), to address the lack of access to quality primary healthcare and improve patient health outcomes.
AKDN dHRC has developed the VirtualDoc mobile application, a patient-centred platform, which provides access to specialists via teleconsultations. This enables patients to seek quality healthcare services and receive teleconsultations in real-time.
The use of telemedicine in mainstream healthcare service delivery was triggered during the SARS epidemic in 2003 and reinforced during MERS-CoV in 2013. Before that, telemedicine was primarily used to provide care to remote areas or where access to care is limited. During the COVID-19 pandemic, telemedicine has emerged to become the quickest and safest method of interaction between patient and clinician.
AKDN dHRC was quick to respond to the needs of the COVID-19 pandemic. We deployed an end-to-end telemedicine mobile app, VirtualDoc, in Pakistan and Tanzania. VirtualDoc, called "Elaj Asan" in Pakistan and "Pigia Daktari" in Tanzania, was customised to suit the needs and priorities of each country, and launched in collaboration with the Aga Khan Health Services in Pakistan and Tanzania.
The app is an Android-based, patient-centered platform, which provides access to specialists via teleconsultation services offered by AKHS. With video calling and online payment features, VirtualDoc allows patients to schedule appointments, make payment, consult doctors, upload prescriptions and diagnostic reports and maintain their personal health record in the comfort of their home. The app also allows elderly patients, who may be limited to travel due to illness and those experiencing symptoms of COVID-19, to consult physicians from home.
The app generates and manages patient-specific records related to prescriptions and radiology and laboratory tests, while also ensuring privacy and transparency. In Pakistan, a full-fledged pharmacy delivery component allows users to order, pay for track and receive pharmaceutical goods at their doorstep.
The application allows teleconsultations to be conducted through either Wi-fi or cellular data services available on smart devices, instead of computer-based teleconsultations, which require internet connectivity.
Through the COVID-19 Innovation Research Project, in addition to Pakistan and Tanzania, VirtualDoc will be implemented in Kenya.
In collaboration with the Department of Medicine at the Aga Khan University, we designed and developed Meri Shifa (meaning ‘My Health’ in Urdu). The platform was conceived as a part of a pilot feasibility study funded by the George Institute for Global Health.
AKDN dHRC has developed Sehatmandi, a tablet-based application to digitise the previously manual assessment and monitoring process for select health facilities.
In collaboration with the Aga Khan University Hospital in Karachi, AKDN dHRC has designed and developed the Sales and Service Outreach mobile application. It enables sales staff to conveniently manage their workloads and report progress.
The Rahbar application is the product of a successful pilot study, Movies4Stroke, carried out under Dr Ayeesha Kamal, through evidence-based research and clinical testing at the Aga Khan University Hospital, Karachi.
AKDN dHRC has partnered with the Aga Khan University (AKU) and Tech4Life Enterprises to develop a device for non-invasive diagnosis of stroke risks. Zahir Medic is a wearable leather glove that allows patients to check their blood pressure, ECG and glucose levels non-invasively.
Bolta Parcha, meaning Talking Prescription, assesses the effectiveness of using mHealth tools and technologies to increase medication adherence and health literacy in patients with vascular diseases in Pakistan.
AKDN dHRC and the Aga Khan University (AKU) Stroke Programme have collaborated to develop Movies4Stroke, a series of informative and educational movies for stroke patients and their caregivers.
Teeko, meaning vaccination in the local language, provides real-time data on a vaccinator’s field movements through GPS tracking and on the number of children being immunised. Vaccinators can also check vaccine stock availability at their respective health facilities through the app.
In Pakistan, we offer telepsychiatry services at our health centres in Chitral and Gilgit. Patients at these facilities benefit from live teleconsultations in psychiatry offered by specialists at the Aga Khan University Hospital, Karachi.
Building professional capacity of healthcare providers through eLearning sessions is a major objective of the AKDN Digital Health Programme. The French Medical Institute for Mothers and Children (FMIC) offers eLearning sessions to healthcare providers at Bamyan and Faizabad Provincial Hospitals and Mirwais Regional Hospital, Kandahar in Afghanistan and Khorog Oblast General Hospital in Tajikistan.
In an effort to standardise data collection of deliveries across Aga Khan Development Network (AKDN) health facilities, we developed and implemented a standard electronic data collection tool, the AKDN Delivery Tool, after stakeholder consultation.
In order to streamline preparations at the Aga Khan University Hospital (AKUH) in Karachi for the renewal of Joint Commission International (JCI) accreditation that occurs every three years, AKDN dHRC developed and launched the AKUH – JCIA App. More
Pakistan has the third highest burden of maternal, foetal and child mortality in the world. In 2018, AKDN dHRC, in collaboration with the Aga Khan Health Service, Pakistan (AKHS, P) developed and launched an mHealth app, Nighedaasht. This is used in remote, rural areas of Gilgit-Baltistan and Chitral, Pakistan in efforts to improve Maternal, Newborn and Child Health (MNCH) outcomes.
Routine polio immunisation coverage for children in Pakistan stands at 59 percent, well below the recommended coverage of 90 percent. In 2017, the AKDN Digital Health Resource Centre helped develop the Paigham-e-Sehat application to support a research study undertaken by AKU.
In collaboration with the Department of Paediatrics and Child Health at the Aga Khan University Hospital, Karachi, we developed and implemented Clinical Rounds. This is a mobile application integrated with a web portal to help healthcare providers record their presence for various events, engagements and activities.