Digital Health Initiatives

Strengthening health systems by designing and deploying digitally-enabled solutions

Child is being measured for malnutrition using a Mid Upper Arm Circumference band
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Too many children miss out on potentially life-saving vaccinations, treatment and health monitoring simply because health systems fail to keep track of them.

From birth registration to vaccine management and disease tracking, strong, innovative systems can give governments the information and tools they need to respond quickly to disease outbreaks and deliver on emergency health needs.

UNICEF envisions a world where the health and well-being of children is improved through digitally-enabled health systems in which digital health technologies are used to enhance the quality and reach of vital health information and services for the most disadvantaged children and their families. With digital health, we have an opportunity to invest in the policy, people, processes and technologies that will allow us to leverage data to improve health systems and health outcomes for billions of children.

health worker sends text message real time on vaccination samples
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The real-time information platform, RapidPro, is a core solution in UNICEF’s digital health portfolio.

RapidPro enables UNICEF to take advantage of the explosive uptake in mobile phone subscribers across the world to help tackle some of the fundamental challenges in the health sector, and to empower women, children and their communities to advocate for quality health services. Many of the digital health interventions powered by RapidPro have been linked into foundational digital health systems such as the District Health Information System 2 and OpenMRS, resulting in easy user experiences for governments and reducing duplication and costs.

To date, some 85.8 million mothers, community health workers, vaccinators and health facility staff in 18 countries have benefited from digital health platforms and the communities they connect to the health system. These platforms remind parents about actions that keep their babies healthy in the first 1,000 days of life, improve the coordination of vaccination campaigns and bed-net distributions, and manage the availability of life-saving health commodities.


 

Case Study: FamilyConnect

FamilyConnect sends targeted life cycle-based messages via SMS to pregnant women, new mothers, heads of households, including male partners, and caregivers with information on what they can do to keep themselves and their babies in good health and stimulate optimal development during the critical first 1,000 days of life. A Village Health Team (VHT) member discusses the impact the FamilyConnect messages have had on her work and the households she serves.