Understanding Sociotechnical Implications of Mobile Health Deployments in India, Kenya, and Zimbabwe

Neha Kumar, Waylon Brunette, Nicola Dell, Trevor Perrier, Beth Kolko, Gaetano Borriello, Richard Anderson


Health workers in understaffed and overstrained low-resource environments suffer from complex and demanding workloads. We discuss three mobile health (mHealth) deployments in India, Kenya, and Zimbabwe that we designed to assist frontline health workers. Drawing on rich empirical findings, we describe how we situated the technology, how the workplace relationships were reconfigured as a result, and how the projects grew organically beyond their intended scope. We adopt a reflexive approach to analyze how these projects address longevity as a critical shared goal and discuss how they negotiated the durability of technologies, resulting organizational stability, and sustained community engagement.

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