A conceptual framework for designing mHealth solutions for developing countries
Though mHealth is still at its formative stages, it is undeniably the next big thing in addressing healthcare challenges being experienced in developing countries. However, the complexity of implementing mHealth to address numerous health challenges is evident in many failed attempts to integrate it within healthcare system. We argue that this is due to complexity of migrating to virtual environment most healthcare processes; such as diagnosis and treatment that require more of physical interactions between patients and caregivers. To provide a concrete model to scale-up deployment of mHealth, this paper presents a conceptual framework combining constructs from Process Virtualization Theory, Theory of Planned Behaviour and Task-Technology Fit. The framework is a flexible schema for deriving concrete models that would be used as a blueprint for effective deployment and evaluation of mHealth applications' suitability to the intended use. To demonstrate the adaptability of the framework, we discuss its use regarding an mHealth application for maternal and child care in underserved rural and urban areas in Kenya.