VillageReach

Reporting app for patients with tuberculosis.

#Java

#JavaScript

#Global Health

#Full Software Development Cycle

#app


Challenge

VillageReach is a non-profit organization working in the area of medical logistics, especially the last mile delivery of medicines to remote rural areas in Africa. It was established in 2001 and is based in Seattle, U.S. VillageReach develops, tests, implements, and scales new solutions to critical health system challenges in low-resource environments. Its mission is to save lives and improve health by increasing access to quality healthcare for the most underserved communities.

We have worked with VillageReach on numerous projects.
older doctor is analyzing x-ray image

Problem

Open Data Kit (ODK) is developed in partnership with the University of Washington’s Department of Computer Science and Engineering. It is an open-source suite of tools that allows one to create, file and manage mobile data. ODK tools can scan and recognize handwriting, which enables one to digitalize paper forms (ODK Scan), manage and edit mobile data on the phone (ODK Survey), as well as view them (ODK Tables).

In the Pakistan field trial, ODK Scan was used to automatically digitize check-box and numerical data from the facility tuberculosis register. District Field Supervisors fill out paper forms and then, scan them with the use of the ODK Scan app. The scanned data are then available on the Android device in the ODK Tables app. One critical responsibility of the District Field Supervisors in Pakistan is to follow up on tuberculosis patients receiving treatment and to make sure they attend their clinics for check-ins. The ODK Tables app provides a simple view of stored records but it also allows customization by providing a way to implement and use one’s own HTML/JavaScript web apps that can make use of the ODK data and perform any additional logic or change the visualization of the records. It was SolDevelo’s task to prepare a customized report that would make use of the data stored in the ODK Tables, do necessary calculations and display the correct data to the user in a form of an HTML report.

SolDevelo was previously hired to perform work on the ODK for VillageReach, as well as other business entities, therefore we were a perfect candidate for this work.
Senior doctor discussing with coworkers while standing

Solution

SolDevelo put together a team consisting of three developers and one tester to tackle this challenge. We worked closely with a VillageReach representative in order to understand the work of District Field Supervisors and their needs. We were also in contact with core ODK developers to get better understanding of how we can incorporate our own reporting app into the existing ODK Tables app.

The implementation had to take into consideration very specific client requirements. The reporting app we created was meant to be used on 5-inch Android devices. It also had to handle possible duplicate patient records in the paper registers and consecutively, on the phone. Finally, an algorithm that calculates the days left until next check-in for each patient had to be implemented.

The created reporting app consists of three screens. When opening the app, it first asks which one of the two districts we are interested in. When one or both of them are selected, the app will use its calculation algorithm to determine days left until the check-in and display the list of patients sorted by calculation result – meaning the patients that need attention sooner are displayed higher. Each patient record also displays type of treatment, personal identification number and an image snippet containing the patient’s name taken from the paper record. Tapping the patient records brings the user to the patient details screen containing information about treatment type and previous check-ins and their results.

Result

Thanks to the reporting app that we have put together, District Field Supervisors can easily find patients who need to attend the clinic or who require follow-up support, and contact them. If a patient does not adhere to the prescribed treatment regimen, they are at a high risk of worsening their condition. A quick and streamlined way to check in on patients with tuberculosis helps to prevent complications resulting from skipped treatments.
Female doctor using digital tablet

Technologies used

Java JavaScript HTML5 CSS3