The objective of this study is to examine how and in what ways the spread of mass media, increased access to the Internet and very high level of mobile phone use are changing the ways that poor people seek health-related information and advice. Overall the study seeks to examine health information seeking behaviours in the context of the rapid increase in the use of ICTs, particularly mobile phones, in Bangladesh; identify those with the potential to spread rapidly; and contribute to debates about the implications of related major changes in the health knowledge economy and appropriate regulatory responses.
The study will examine health information seeking behaviour in one relatively remote rural area in Bangladesh, one rural area with good transport links to Dhaka and one slum in Dhaka.
This is an exploratory mixed methods study at both individual and household level. Study approaches include a literature review, key informant interviews, a meta-analysis of previous studies of ICT-poverty links, a quantitative survey, and targeted studies of specific ICT health initiatives.
This project will contribute to the 'stimulating innovations' theme.
December 2012 - November 2015
- Dr Gerry Bloom, IDS (Principle Investigator)
- Dr Linda Waldman, IDS
- Dr Abbas Bhuyia, ICDDR,B
- Dr Sabrina Rasheed, ICDDR,B
- Dr Tanvir Ahmed, ICDDR,B
- Jeff Knezovich, IDS
Khatun F, Heywood AE, Ray PK, Bhuiya A, Liaw S-T (2016) Community readiness for adopting mHealth in rural Bangladesh: A qualitative exploration, International Journal of Medical Informatics, Volume 93, pp 49–56, DOI: 10.1016/j.ijmedinf.2016.05.010
There are increasing numbers of mHealth initiatives in middle and low income countries aimed at improving health outcomes. Bangladesh is no exception with more than 20 mobile health (mHealth) initiatives in place. A recent study in Bangladesh examined community readiness for mHealth using a framework based on quantitative data. Given the importance of a framework and the complementary role of qualitative exploration, this paper presents data from a qualitative study which complements findings from the quantitative study.
Khatuna F, Heywood AE, Ray PK, SMA Hanifi, Bhuiya A, Liaw ST (2015) Determinants of readiness to adopt mHealth in a rural community of Bangladesh, International Journal of Medical Informatics, Volume 84, Issue 10, Pages 847–856, http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ijmedinf.2015.06.008
Evidence in favour of mHealth for healthcare delivery in settings where trained health workforce is limited or unavailable is accumulating. With rapid growth in access to mobile phones and an acute shortage of health workforce in Bangladesh, mHealth initiatives are increasing with more than 20 current initiatives in place. “Readiness” is a crucial prerequisite to the successful implementation of telehealth programs. However, systematic assessment of the community readiness for mHealth-based services in the country is lacking. This article reports on a recent study describing the influence of community readiness for mHealth of a rural Bangladesh community.
Khan NUZ, Rasheed S, Sharmin T, Ahmed T, Mahmood SS, Khatun F, Hanifi SMA, Hoque S, Iqbal M and Bhuiya A (2015) Experience of using mHealth to link village doctors with physicians: lessons from Chakaria, Bangladesh, BMC Medical Informatics and Decision Making, 15:62, doi:10.1186/s12911-015-0188-9
Bangladesh is facing serious shortage of trained health professionals. In the pluralistic healthcare system of Bangladesh, formal health care providers constitute only 5 % of the total workforce; the rest are informal health care providers. Information Communication Technologies (ICTs) are increasingly seen as a powerful tool for linking the community with formal healthcare providers. This study assesses an intervention that linked village doctors (a cadre of informal health care providers practising modern medicine) to formal doctors through call centres from the perspective of the village doctors who participated in the intervention.
This paper presents a conceptual approach for discussing health information seeking among poor households in Africa and Asia. This approach is part of a larger research endeavor aimed at understanding how health systems are adapting; with possibilities and constraints emerging. These health systems can be found in a context of the changing relationships between states, markets and civil society in low and middle income countries. The paper starts from an understanding of the health sector as a “health knowledge economy”, organized to provide people with access to knowledge and advice. The use of the term “health knowledge economy” draws attention to the ways the health sector is part of a broader knowledge economy changing the way individuals and households obtain and use specialist information. The paper integrates an actor centric approach with the theory of planned behavior. It seeks to identify the actors engaged in the health knowledge economy as a precursor to longer term studies on the uptake of innovations integrating health services with mobile phones, commonly designated as mHealth, contributing to an understanding of the potential vulnerabilities of poor people, and highlighting possible dangers if providers of health information and advice are strongly influenced by interest groups.
The health system of Bangladesh is haunted by challenges of accessibility and affordability. Despite impressive gains in many health indicators, recent evidence has raised concerns regarding the utilization, quality and equity of healthcare. In the context of new and unfamiliar public health challenges including high population density and rapid urbanization, eHealth and mHealth are being promoted as a route to cost-effective, equitable and quality healthcare in Bangladesh. The aim of this paper is to highlight such initiatives and understand their true potential.
There is growing enthusiasm amongst analysts of global health for the possibilities opened up by the rapid spread of mobile phone coverage. This includes substantially increasing access to health-related information and advice and to expert medical consultations.This report presents a snapshot of how information and communication technologies (ICTs) are influencing health system development in Bangladesh.
Debates as to the potential role of new Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) in monitoring the wellbeing of vulnerable groups is often bedevilled by the failure of two principal actors – social researchers and technical experts – to address the other’s concerns or even to use language that is comprehensible to the other side. The aim here is to unpick some of the technical language relevant in this context and provide a brief introductory guide to some aspects of the current, rapidly changing and highly diverse ICT environment.