Child mortality is one of the most pressing health concerns almost 10 million children die worldwide each year before reaching their fifth birthday, mostly in low-income countries. To aid overburdened and undertrained health workers the World Health Organization (WHO) and United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) have developed clinical guidelines, such as the Integrated Management of Childhood Illness (IMCI) to help with the classification and treatment of common childhood illness. To help with deployment, we have developed an electronic version (e-IMCI) that runs on a PDA. From July to September 2007, we ran a pilot of e-IMCI in southern Tanzania. The system guides health workers step-by-step through the treatment algorithms and automatically calculates drug doses. Our results suggest that electronic implementations of protocols such as IMCI can reduce training time and improve adherence to the protocol. They also highlight several important challenges including varying levels of education, language and expertise, which could be most adequately addressed by implementing novel intelligent user interfaces and systems.
Brian DeRenzi, Krzysztof Z. Gajos, Tapan S. Parikh, Neal Lesh, Marc Mitchell, and Baetano Borriello. Opportunities for intelligent interfaces aiding healthcare in low-income countries. In Workshop on Intelligent User Interfaces for Developing Regions (at IUI'08), 2008.