Digital health is the concept of applying digital technologies to enable and enhance health program reach, efficiency, and impact. Digital health encompasses concepts of mhealth, ehealth, digital finance, and information and communications technologies (ICT). The widespread use of mobile phones throughout low and middle income countries presents key opportunities to leverage digital technology in health programs. Mobile messages and audio-visual content can educate consumers about health services and products, and reinforce training of providers. Digital data collection and management platforms, dashboards for data reporting and decision-making, and insurance registration and payment systems are just a few examples of digital applications that support the scale-up of private sector service delivery models.
SHOPS Plus integrates evidence-based cost effective digital solutions into project activities, contributing to the quality and accessibility of services for underserved and at-risk populations. Digital health platforms offer a particularly promising opportunity for engagement between the public and private sectors, making it easier to share data and partner on health activities.
SHOPS Plus digital health activities include:
- Data collection and health management information systems (including DHIS2)
- Digital finance (mobile money for payments, savings, credit, and insurance)
- Provider training, networking, and supervision
- Consumer education and behavior change
- Use of social media
- Monitoring and evaluation
- Sustainable business models
- Facilitation of public-private partnerships
- Landscape assessments
Examples of our work
In Haiti, SHOPS Plus developed and deployed a multi-channel digital communication platform which has engaged thousands of beneficiaries in ongoing communication via their mobile phones on the topics of family planning, Zika, cholera, and maternal and child health. Beneficiaries access the information that they need whenever they need it. Beneficiaries have also shared key insights into health attitudes and consumer behaviors.
In Tanzania, SHOPS Plus increased enrollment of people living with HIV in an insurance scheme to finance their HIV care and treatment. Mobile-based registration, premium payments and claims processing simplified the process and led to rapid enrollment of more than 20,000 new beneficiaries.
In Nigeria, SHOPS Plus is reducing loss to follow-up for TB patients through development and scale of a mobile app for clinicians, pharmacies, labs, and drug shops to improve screening, reporting, tracking, and referrals. SHOPS Plus Nigeria has also established, with its technology partners, on-demand audio job aids to reinforce family planning training for private providers. Providers can dial “3-2-1” and listen to technical training content and take quizzes for free on any mobile phone.