Mobile WACh NEO: Communication empowering mothers and newborns

Organization: 
University of Washington
Organization Location: 
Seattle, Washington

Mobile WACh NEO, a human-computer hybrid communication system, connects women and newborns to care during the most at risk period, bringing a virtual provider into the home. Mobile WACh NEO harnesses the efficiencies of SMS messaging while actively engaging the end-user to increase facility delivery by targeting birth partners and developing birth plans, increase utilization of neonatal services with algorithm-based assessment of newborns and improve delivery of appropriate contraception with tailored counseling.  We will adapt and scale the existing Mobile WACh platform, which has demonstrated  efficacy for maternal and child outcomes, to target the problems of neonatal mortality and unmet need for family planning. We will utilize the strengths of our collaborative research partners to evaluate this intervention with plans to scale into electronic medical records (EMR) country-wide. Mobile WACh offers benefits over existing SMS messaging because it provides personalized support. Preliminary results suggest a high level of demand for 2-way communication, increased family planning and improved infant outcomes. Mobile WACh NEO, adapted to prioritize birth planning, neonatal care, and contraceptive decision-making, will amplify these benefits. We anticipate measurable increases in facility delivery and family planning, and decreases in neonatal mortality. Mobile WACh NEO is readily scale-able and aligns with national plans to incorporate mHealth innovations to improve health.

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