Developing mobile health applications for neglected tropical disease research

by Andrés Navarro, Luisa Rubiano, Juan David Arango, Carlos A. Rojas, Neal Alexander, Nancy Gore Saravia, Eliah Aronoff-Spencer

Mobile applications (apps) can bring health research and its potential downstream benefits closer to underserved populations. Drawing on experience developing an app for detecting and referring cases of cutaneous leishmaniasis in Colombia, called Guaral/app, we review key steps in creating such mobile health (mHealth) tools. These require consideration of the sociotechnical context using methods such as systems analysis and human-centered design (HCD), predicated on engagement and iteration with all stakeholders. We emphasize usability and technical concerns and describe the interdependency of technical and human considerations for mHealth systems in rural communities.

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