Mapping evidence of mobile health technologies for disease diagnosis and treatment support by health workers in sub-Saharan Africa: A scoping review
BACKGROUND: The rapid growth of mobile technology has given rise to the development of mobile health (mHealth) applications aimed at treating and preventing a wide range of health conditions. However, evidence on the use of mHealth in high disease burdened settings such as sub-Sharan Africa is not clear. Given this, we systematically mapped evidence on mHealth for disease diagnosis and treatment support by health workers in sub-Saharan Africa. METHODS: We conducted a scoping review study guided by the Arksey and O’Malley’s framework, Levac et al. recommendations, and Joanna Briggs Institute guidelines. We thoroughly searched the following databases: MEDLINE and CINAHL with full text via EBSCOhost; PubMed; Science Direct and Google Scholar for relevant articles from the inception of mHealth technology to April 2020. Two reviewers independently screened abstracts and full-text articles using the eligibility criteria as reference. This study employed the mixed methods appraisal tool version 2018 to assess the methodological quality of the included studies. RESULTS: Out of the 798 articles identified, only 12 published articles presented evidence on the availability and use of mHealth for disease diagnosis and treatment support by health workers in SSA since 2010. Of the 12 studies, four studies were conducted in Kenya; two in Malawi; two in Nigeria; one in South Africa; one in Zimbabwe; one in Mozambique, and one in Lesotho. Out of the 12 studies, one reported the use of mHealth for diseases diagnosis; three reported the use of mHealth to manage HIV; two on the management of HIV/TB; two on the treatment of malaria; one each on the management of hypertension; cervical cancer; and three were not specific on any disease condition. All the 12 included studies underwent methodological quality appraisal with a scored between 70 and 100%. CONCLUSIONS: The study shows that there is limited research on the availability and use of mHealth by health workers for disease diagnosis and treatment support in sub-Saharan Africa. We, therefore, recommend primary studies focusing on the use of mHealth by health workers for disease diagnosis and treatment support in sub-Saharan Africa.
Osei E, Kuupiel D, Vezi PN, Mashamba-Thompson TP
- General HIV+ population
- General HIV- population
- Biomedical interventions