Electronic data collection in an Ebola Treatment Unit, part 2

We’ve successfully completed the next phase of testing electronic data collection at the Lunsar ETC (Ebola Treatment Center) in Sierra Leone. The purpose of this second phase  was simply to determine if mobile device touchscreens would be readable through the fogged googles, and operable with the double-gloved fingers, that are part of the use of the PPE (personal protective equipment).

And in the photo above (taken inside the “hot zone”) you can see the result: on the right is the paper rounding form (used by the doctors “rounding on”, or visiting, each patient in the ward) and on the left is a basic Android phone displaying the questions. So although the intention is to test tablets for any potential implementation  using just a basic Android phone and a $9 plastic case we have been able to successfully perform rounds on the patients in the treatment area.

The phone screen was legible, and the buttons easily operable using heavily-gloved fingers.  And tablets will only be an improvement.

Magpi is already being used by IFRC and UNICEF and WHO and others for collection of Ebola data, but our work here shows that it is be possible to improve collection of Ebola data even inside the “hot zone” using off-the-shelf equipment and simple and inexpensive software like free Magpi.  Which means that every ministry and every clinic, no matter what size their budget, can use electronic data collection  to assist in fighting this dread disease.


Also published on Medium.

Mobile Data Collection Guide

When it comes to choosing how data collection will be performed in the field, there are several factors to keep in mind – from the type of data you are collecting to the type of data collection technology to level of connectivity available to your teams in the field. Our mobile data collection guide helps you understand the benefits – and avoid the common pitfalls.

Download the Guide