COVID-19 Pilot Study Based on Smartphones
[This project ended on 30 September 2021]
Pilot Study Overview
OROMIA TECH PLC in collaboration with The University of Edinburgh, Scotland, UK and Adama Hospital Medical College, Adama, Oromia, Ethiopia, is a proud innovative solution provider of a smartphone technology enabled approach to managing COVID-19 in Ethiopia. The initial pilot study is based in the city of Adama and in and around Mojo town, both pilot locations in the Oromia region of Ethiopia.
The University of Edinburgh, through their School of Health in Social Science
The Adama Hospital Medical College are in charge of the clinical assessment of the technology enabled approach with direct interaction of individuals participating in the pilot study.
OROMIA TECH PLC is a technology solution provider with design of smartphone-based App software as well as training of health workers and field support technicians who will be behind the use of smartphone technology. The App, dubbed Fayyaa Ko (Afan Oromo), ጤንነቴ (Amharic), My Health (English), supports the three languages and is available at Google Play Apps Store for public download.
The pilot study is running from 1 June 2021 through 30September 2021 for a period of 4 months. The broad objective of the study is to evaluate the efficacy of innovative technology enabled approach to managing COVID-19 in underserved communities around the world.
Using a smartphone equipped with the Fayyaa Ko App, and from the comfort of their home, pilot study participants are able to report their daily health status, with a checklist of symptoms should they develop any symptoms. This not only avoids the spread of infection, it also avoids the journey to health centres and subsequent waiting times particularly for rural communities distant from health centres. The technology system makes it easy to manage COVID-19, from initial telephone triage to health professional home visits, to dispatching an ambulance for hospital admission—all these clinical decisions without the patient leaving their home.
The technology approach also makes the follow-up of patients transitioning from hospital to home care quite straightforward with daily health status report until cleared out of the technology based patient monitoring system (PMS).
The power of the Fayyaa Ko App lies in the unlimited number of users sharing a smartphone as in a family & friends setting. The penetration of smartphones in developing countries like Ethiopia is around 20% and it means sharing a smartphone would significantly increase the effective percentage. Sharing has no impact on personal data privacy as personal data is securely saved in a backend database that is built around Cloud data centre. The smartphone, under the control of the App, simply provides a conduit to the Cloud system without retaining sensitive personal data on its local storage.
- Dr Clara Calia (Ethics & Governance Advisor)
- Mr Gosaye Fida (UK-Ethiopia Liaison and Project Manager)
- Prof Ruth Jepson (Programme Advisor)
- Dr Rosie Stenhouse (Project Leader)
- Dr Maria Wolters (from School of Informatics and Advisor in Health Informatics)
- Dr Godana Jarso (Clinical Assessment Principal Investigator)
- Dr Wassie Gebi ( Clinical Programme Manager and Investigator)
- Dr Demessie Girma (Technology Solutions Architect, Design and Training in TeleHealth System)