Digital revolution in diagnostics for young childrenImpact evaluation of a Swiss health project in Burkina Faso
This in turn aroused international interest and mobilised new partners and donors for the project.
For example, the World Health Organization (WHO) is working today to extend the Integrated e-Diagnostic Approach (IeDA) into neighbouring Mali and Niger.
in 2013, one in every eight children died owing to misdiagnosis or incorrect medication.
However, the training of healthcare workers to apply the IMCI standards was inadequate. Even with the correct diagnosis, inappropriate medication was often prescribed.
It helps health workers to comply more strictly with the clinical protocol of the IMCI guidelines.
At the heart of the project is a tablet app that helps with diagnosis and treatment and at the same time registers the patient data of young children.
e-diagnostics: to improve diagnosis and treatment and reduce paperwork.
data analysis: to increase data quality and security. Common mistakes are identified and are noticed more quickly.
e-learning: to reduce training costs and reliance on individual training.
quality assurance and coaching: to improve general health services, individual performances of the personnel are recorded and can be further developed as required.
The evaluation demonstrated the positive impact of the project on the diagnosis and treatment of under-fives and general compliance with IMCI standards.
In all, the examination and diagnosis of 2,038 young children were recorded.
In 695 cases (target group) the new software was used, while in 1,343 cases (control group) the diagnosis was carried out on printed forms.
For all types of diagnosis, the proportion of correct diagnoses was significantly better. In the diagnosis of infectious diarrhoea (dysenterie) in particular, successful diagnosis was 39% higher.
The unnecessary prescription of antibiotics could thus be reduced by 6–15%.
Since its launch, the IeDA system has been used in over 4 million consultations in Burkina Faso, with more than 2.2 million patients under the age of five registered and diagnosed.
The positive results of the impact evaluation have aroused international interest. New financiers, most notably the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and partners are now implementing the project in other regions of the world.
Further information about IeDA:
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