HumanInsight Development of a conceptual framework for linking mHealth applications to eRecord systems in Botswana
BMC Health Serv Res. 2021 Oct 15;21(1):1103. doi: 10.1186/s12913-021-07134-4.
BACKGROUND: The proliferation of mHealth solutions and eRecord systems is inevitable in developing countries, and ensuring their bi-directional interoperability is essential. Interoperability has been described as the ability for two or more systems or components to exchange information and use the information that has been exchanged. Given the importance of linking mHealth solutions to eRecord systems in the developing world, a suitable interoperability framework is required to provide an agreed approach to interoperability and specify common elements. Although eHealth interoperability frameworks exist in the literature, none meet all the requirements for linking mHealth solutions to eRecord systems in developing countries. The aim of this paper was to describe the design and development of a conceptual framework for linking mHealth solutions to eRecord systems in Botswana, as an exemplar.
METHODS: An iterative and reflective process was adopted, supported by existing literature and research including consultations with eHealth experts, and guidance from existing frameworks. These collectively identified key elements, concepts, and standards relevant and essential for framework design and development.
RESULTS: The mHealth-eRecord Interoperability Framework (mHeRIF) was developed which highlights the need for: governance and regulation of mHealth and eRecord systems, a national health information exchange, and which interoperability levels to achieve. Each of these are supported by integral themes and concepts. It also addresses the need for regular review, accreditation, and alignment of framework concepts and themes with a National eHealth Strategy Interoperability Development Process. To demonstrate the framework’s applicability, a proposed architecture for the Kgonafalo mobile telemedicine programme is presented.
CONCLUSION: Interoperable mHealth solutions and eRecords systems have the potential to strengthen health systems. This paper reports the design and development of an evidence-based mHeRIF to align with, build upon, and expand National eHealth Strategies by guiding the linking of mHealth solutions to eRecord systems in Botswana and other developing countries facing similar circumstances.
PMID:34654432 | DOI:10.1186/s12913-021-07134-4
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