Member Spotlight: mDoc
Digital Self-care Delivery for Women of Reproductive Age in Sub-Saharan Africa
Over 800 women die every day in pregnancy and childbirth globally, according to the World Health Organisation. In Nigeria specifically, UNICEF’s data shows a maternal mortality rate of 576 per 100,000 live births, which is the fourth largest in the world. In the midst of global health emergencies, like the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the health and wellbeing of women of reproductive age (WRA) are often not prioritized.
At mDoc, we have witnessed firsthand the reality of health gaps in the system, and are working to implement sustainable solutions to help improve the quality of care received on an individual level.
mDoc is a digital health social enterprise focused on optimizing the end-to-end self-care experience for people living with regular and chronic health needs by harnessing quality improvement methodologies, behavioural science, data, and technology. Many of our digital intervention strategies are geared towards supporting WRA and ultimately reducing maternal morbidity and mortality rates. We recognize the power of partnerships and through the MSD for Mothers-funded project (led by Jhpiego, in partnership with Health Strategy and Delivery Foundation). At mDoc, we have been able to harness our existing digital platforms to provide self-care support for women. Key areas of focus have been to increase the number of women who:
- Have the requisite self-efficacy to manage their health and/or chronic disease
- Understand and have basic knowledge of indirect causes of maternal mortality and morbidity, risk factors, and self-care interventions
- Live healthier, happier, and more productive lives
- We leverage virtual coaching support and digital nudges through our digital platform, Completehealth™. On this platform, women have access to dedicated health coaches who provide round-the-clock support. They also benefit from community groups where they interact with other women, receive research-based answers to their health questions within an hour of asking, and experience communal support.
- Our digital healthcare repository, NaviHealth.ai™ comes in handy to provide patient navigation support to the WRA.
- In addition to interfacing with these women digitally, we also provide in-person community-based support through our NudgeHub™ (health kiosk) centres.
- Finally, we ensure that the self-confidence of the WRA is enhanced through our tele-education series for pregnant women/nursing mothers and their caregivers. On these platforms, we help these women sit in a digital space with relevant field experts where they share knowledge with and field questions from the participants. Overall, we have seen the diverse impact of this model of education and information sharing with a 7% knowledge gain among pregnant women/nursing mothers and their caregivers.
At the moment, the mDoc team interfaces with over 65,000 Nigerians on our digital self-care support platform, and 51,000 of these are WRA. We have heard and seen countless stories of timely interventions through our virtual self-care support system that has saved lives and helped avert negative health-related circumstances.
LEVERAGING DIGITAL PLATFORMS TO PROMOTE SELF-CARE
Through the use of our digital platform, CompleteHealth™, and our virtual coach-led system we are able to provide self-care support and complement the work of healthcare providers by supporting WRA on lifestyle modifications including nutrition, exercise, stress management and general wellness. Leveraging our partnership with the health facilities, the mDoc community ambassadors onboard the women on CompleteHealth™ and educate them on how to navigate the platform. The goal of our self-care support is to build their self-efficacy and improve digital literacy. This in turn empowers them to take responsibility and determine the outcomes of their health.
At the introductory session, these women provide their health metrics which the system automatically uses to carry out a baseline assessment and assign them to a health coach. As a build up on the initial introductory training, the health coaches provide guidance in utilizing the CompleteHealth™ platform to continue entering and tracking their health metrics. The health coaches also work with the women to co-create health goals and personalized action plans to achieve these goals. On their dashboard, they are able to enter and track metrics such as blood pressure level, blood glucose level, weekly exercise rate, BMI, waist circumference, and a number of other values available on the platform. A major feature of the platform is the ability to detect abnormal health values and send automated notifications, which are then followed up by an immediate phone call from the assigned health coach to the member, on what next steps to take in response to the anomalies.
In all, the ability to provide quality care to these WRA is a collaborative effort amongst various stakeholders, such as the mDoc team, the health facilities, the women themselves, and partnering organizations. Our digital self-care support platform, CompleteHealth™, helps in bridging the gap and integrating technology into healthcare to achieve a higher quality of service. The over 51,000 WRA on the platform cover all social levels, so even non-techies feel comfortable as they are guided through every curve by qualified health coaches while navigating our platform.