MyChild is a paper-digital hybrid medical record system that uses a scanner to upload handwritten records to a digital database for storage.Expert advisors suggest that “MyChild Card is an innovative and low-tech solution to an important problem of accurate health recording for newborns. More effective birth registration is a fundamental issue for child and maternal welfare; MyChild Card addresses this from a technological and organisational perspective as well as from a data ownership perspective. Being paper based, at least at the point of usage, has the attraction of being extremely robust and available in low income contexts.”
Uganda, Afghanistan, Gambia
For the first five years of implementation, MyChild Card costs 2-3 Euro (~2-3.50 USD) per year per child. After the first five years, the cost for operations is 10 cents per year per child.Interview with representative
MyChild Card aims to improve childhood vaccination rates by addressing issues in vaccination service delivery and ultimately reduce under-five mortality rates. Experts emphasize how MyChild Card provides more effective birth registration which is a fundamental issue for child and maternal welfare. The MyChild system not only addresses this issue from a technological and organizational perspective, but also from a data ownership perspective.
Health workers, parents
The MyChild Card is printed at local printing companies in the countries using the system.Interview with representative
Private License.Interview with representative Experts note that open-source solutions are always preferable as they can be improved upon and extended forming a public good. A technology that is open source can still be profitably deployed; the hosting and hardware can still be provided as a commercial service.
Contact Shifo to learn about how to implement the MyChild system.
Shifo provides implementation support for MyChild Card for five years after launch.Interview with representative Costs associated with equipment, adjusting the reporting of the system, and capacity building during the initial stages of implementation are entirely or partially donor funded. Shifo has partnered with governments and strong local NGOs working on the ground in the countries using MyChild Card.Interview with representative
Real-time information on the number of children registered and followed-up with MyChild is available on the Shifo website.
Connectivity requirement for the product/service to work (mobile internet, SMS, voice, fixed internet, Wi-Fi, other [specify]).
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Device features required for the product/service to work (bluetooth, Wi-Fi, camera, IVR, GPS, accelerometers/motion sensors, physiologic biosensors, biometric identifiers, SIM, memory card (e.g microSD), other [specify]).
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Rates of user vs downloads/subscriptions – Compliance rate for the eHealth service
Support according to the literacy level required from the user. If yes, specify type of literacy support. If no, the user is intended to be literate.
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Power supply required for the product/service to work (uninterrupted prower supply (UPS), ocassional power supply [minimum time required], other).
Education and behavior change, human resource management, decision support, data collection & analytics, electronic medical records, Healthcare provider- CHW training, telemedicine/remote diagnostic, stock management, disease surveillance and reporting
The MyChild Card is a health card based on Smart Paper TechnologyTM that allows written information to be scanned and uploaded onto a secure server by health workers for digitation. The MyChild Card is kept with the parents or guardians and allows follow up on vaccination status, nutritional status, growth and development from birth to five years of age.
Each card possesses a unique identifier which is assigned to each newborn child. Experts note that although the child is referred to by a unique ID, there is still sensitive information (e.g HIV status) that is recorded and therefore the data needs to be well secured in order to avoid any possible reidentification risk of a child from anonymous information.The card consists of three sections: educational information for parents, registration forms for nurses to record preventative health service information (dates of vaccinations, weight, etc.), and slips that can be scanned in order to digitize the information. The slips are brought to scanning stations based at district hospitals and district health offices where slips are scanned thus updating the electronic health record for each child. Over 100 indicators are generated using the digitized information which can be sent to key regional and country stakeholders as a report via PDF, email, web, or existing health management information systems (e.g. DHIS2) .
Experts advise that because the MyChild Card is paper based at the point of usage it has the attraction of being extremely robust and available in low income contexts. Experts note that if the family looks after the only copy of the records there is risk for it to get lost. This problem could potentially be addressed if those that periodically fetch the new cards to be scanned can return with a (password protected or encrypted) copy of the records to update the offline database in the clinic.
The electronic medical history enables parents/guardians to receive SMS reminders and individual follow-up on a child’s vaccination schedule. Internet connectivity is required at the health facility for registration and follow-up. Storage and synchronisation of patient data and statistics is done with a cloud server that is provided to the health centers by Shifo.
A representative from Shifo is sent to regions new to MyChild to help facilitate implementation during the beginning months. Shifo provides implementation support for the first five years. Continuous local technical support is required to maintain the MyChild system. Training is provided for healthcare personnel to increase computer literacy.
The laptops and scanners for the system are purchased in the implementing country and can be replaced as needed.Interview with representative
The MyChild Card can be used by a parent or guardian for their child from birth to five years of age. Canon scanners, which is the typical scanner brand that is used for the system, has a lifetime of 7-10 years.Interview with representative
MyChild increases the effieciency of registering children and providing health services at health centers by 119%. MyChild reduces the time spent on reporting and administration tasks at the health center level from 50-60% to 10% per day, which translates to the equivalent of one extra person into each health facility.
Vaccines, vaccine storage
Usman, H.R., et al., Randomized controlled trial to improve childhood immunization adherence in rural Pakistan: redesigned immunization card and maternal education. Trop Med Int Health. 2011 March ; 16(3): 334–342.
MyChild Card adheres to API standards so that the product can be connected to different statistic systems. Shifo created a plug in to directly integrate MyChild Card with DHIS2.Interview with representative
Experts note that the underlying technology and process appear to be well documented. A weak point in the process here would be that someone is charged with taking the cards to be scanned which in some contexts could be a dangerous job as the information could be seen to condone vaccinations and surveillance.
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