Every six seconds, a child dies unnecessarily. This plays out in low-income countries, where 10% of infants die in their first year, compared to 0.5% in wealthy countries. To address these health inequities, the World Health Organization, United Nations Children's Fund, and others have created the Integrated Management of Childhood Illness (IMCI) program.
Targeted directly at reducing child mortality rates in low-income countries, IMCI is a multi-faceted evidence-based approach. At the core are a set of clinical guidelines, or medical algorithms, designed to guide health workers step-by-step through the classification and treatment of children from 0-5 years old. The program is currently implemented in over 80 countries worldwide. Research has shown that following IMCI leads to better health outcomes. The problem is that it is not commonly used. There are a number of reasons including: expense of training, lack of sufficient supervision and a tendency to adhere to protocols less rigorously over time.
e-IMCI is a project to put IMCI onto mobile devices to aid clinicians. Preliminary results from a pilot study rural Tanzania are promising. We are partnering with Dimagi Inc., D-Tree International and the Ifakara Health Research and Development Centre among others to build and deploy the software. This is part of a bigger vision to put medical protocols on mobile devices.
Brian DeRenzi, Neal Lesh, Tapan Parikh, Clayton Sims, Marc Mitchell, Werner Maokola, Mwajuma Chemba, Yuna Hamisi, David Schellenberg and Gaetano Borriello, e-IMCI: Improving Pediatric Health Care in Low-Income Countries, Proceedings of CHI '08. [PDF]
Brian DeRenzi, Krzysztof Gajos, Tapan Parikh, and Gaetano Borriello, Opportunities for Intelligent Interfaces Aiding Healthcare in Low-Income Regions, IUI Workshop on Intelligent User Interfaces for Developing Regions (IUI4DR 2008). [PDF]
Brian DeRenzi, Tapan Parikh, Neal Lesh, Marc Mitchell, and Gaetano Borriello Striking a Balance between User Comfort and Maximizing Benefit in Developing World Information Systems, CHI Workshop on HCI4CID 2008. [PDF]