MEDSINC: Digital platform for improving IMCI assessments in Kano state.
MEDSINC was designed by THINKMD for use by frontline health workers—Community Health Workers (CHWs) to perform an integrated illness severity assessment for respiratory distress, dehydration, sepsis, malnutrition (none-moderate-severe) and other childhood illnesses.
THINKMD & Kano State Primary Health Care Management Board(KSPHCMB)
Over a study period of 2 months, the platform was piloted among CHWs in Kano State to answer the following research questions:
1. Do the CHWs find MEDSINC usable and do they find it an accepted technology to perform clinical assessments and treat sick children or to refer them to seek care with a trained clinician?
2. Does the MEDSINC platform improve the healthcare capacity and clinical assessment consistency of CHWs to accurately assess a child compared to currently used clinical assessment, triage and treatment tools?
3. Does the DATASINC analytics and visualization platform improve programmatic and national/state level health monitoring, evaluation, and development compared to currently used information monitoring systems?
4. What is the potential health – economic impact of a MEDSINC implementation based on assessments and interventions (preventative and curative) provided by CHWs?
eHealth Africa, THINKMD and Kano State Primary Health Care Management Board (KSPHCMB) developed a collaborative partnership in early 2018 and initiated a pilot study among CHWs in Dala, Tarauni, Kano Municipal, Gwale and Nasarawa Local Government Areas in Kano state.
The implementation of this field-based study sought to better understand the feasibility, acceptability, and usability of digital clinical assessment platforms such as MEDSINC, as well as to determine if the CHW’s utilization of MEDSINC could improve adherence to Integrated Management of Childhood Illnesses (IMCI) clinical guidelines. Adherence, for the purpose of this study, was to follow the assessment guidelines as provided in the Nigerian adaptation of the IMCI protocol for children 2-59 months of age. WHO-IMCI guideline adherence was assessed by observational analysis of 28 CHWs utilizing their current paper-based approach (Pre-MEDSINC, n=384 assessments), during the use of the MEDSINC platform (MEDSINC-observation, n-384; MEDSINC-use, n=2230 assessments), and following the use of the MEDSINC platform using their original paper-based approach (Post-MEDSINC, n=384 assessments). Usability and acceptability surveys were conducted following the completion of the MEDSINC portion of the study.
The outcome of the study demonstrated that the utilization of an mHealth platform such as MEDSINC resulted in increased IMCI guideline compliance with high usability and acceptability by CHWs. It further showed evidence that THINKMD’s MEDSINC platform will have significant health impact for children less than five years of age at a reduced cost when used by eHA-Kano State Ministry of Health CHW programs.
Co-designed research protocol
Co-authored research findings and report
Coordinated in-country data collection, research training and study implementation
Kano State Primary Health Care Management Board
Children under the age of 5
Community Health Workers in Kano State
assessments using the MEDSINC platform
of CHWs said that MEDSINC helped them adequately identify sick children
(41%) increase in the acquisition of key IMCI danger signs.
reduction in training cost when implementing MEDSINC platform using a distance learning approach.
increase in IMCI compliance (to 56.5%) using original paper-based assessments following the use of the MEDSINC platform, demonstrating that the MEDSINC platform can serve as a continuous training tool
(30.6% to 71.4%) increase in WHO-IMCI compliance through the utilization of the MEDSINC platform from