Journey Cross Border Immunization Tracking Tool
Project Time Frame:
October 2016 - October 2019
Journey is a premium branded and patient-centred digital immunization solution that places the patient squarely at the centre of the journey. Journey is tailored to operate fully in offline environments. The solution has two WiFi enabled servers coupled with custom power management and data replication capabilities to ensure maximum uptime. The solution provides the patient with an electronic version of the immunisation record on a credit-card sized Journey card that keeps the patients identity completely anonymous. These cards are accessible by all Journey enabled facilities and are kept up to date after each vaccination event for continuity of care in offline environments.
To enable and strengthen anonymous continuity of care in rural locations with little to no electricity
To prove that a shift towards an electronic Personal Health Record (ePHR) will improve immunisation services and encourage future secondary data sharing
To track cross-border movements for immunisation services and most importantly, ensure that the caregiver remains informed regarding scheduled vaccination events so that their child remains healthy
Basic problem it solves
Mothers in the cross border regions of Kenya and Uganda can often be refused care; after travelling long distances. Loss of current paper-based patient record books is common and retrieving records via the paper register books can be difficult and time-consuming.
The Journey solution eliminates fragmented vaccination data through the use of Near Field Communication (NFC) cards that are used to store the child's immunisation record. The card can be seen as the patient's electronic Personal Health Record (ePHR) comprising of their de-identified immunisation data. The child cards are always kept up to date after each vaccination event and are treated as the master patient record when visiting a facility. With no existing cloud based architecture to support data sharing, data on the child card will always inform the servers of the latest vaccination updates. However, a gradual shift to the cloud is imminent.
Project stakeholders noted Immunisation data-sharing between countries as an African first.
What does the product do?
Journey manages the patients digital immunisation record via the mobile app. This app is paired with color-coded NFC cards for the three user types; Nurse, Administrator and Caregiver (e.g. parent).
The purple nurse card is used to manage vaccination events while the red Journey Administrator card is used to extract facility data for stakeholder data analysis, both of which are activated with a personalised pin during registration.
The caregiver received their green card via a premium starter pack, similar to a mobile phone starter pack. This includes a booklet explaining the Journey programme and the respective roles that both the nurse and caregiver play in ensuring the long-term health of the child. The caregiver starter pack also includes QR code stickers which may be used to recover the child's immunisation record from the servers.
The app was installed and configured for rugged devices supplied by the programme. These devices have extended batteries, a physical keypad and can be dropped without fear. As a result they do not look like mobile phones which ideally would reduce potential hardware theft.
Due to intermittent power in the area, battery powered devices are ideal. Custom power management mechanisms are used to switch to battery power in the event that there is a loss of electricity. The mobile devices are configured to retain immunisation data for up to 31 days should the servers be offline. As soon as the servers are back online after a lengthy power outage, the mobile app will upload all vaccination data to the child's immunisation record on the server thus eliminating data loss and ensuring that the server remains current for immunisation data recovery reasons.
In order for data analysis to be possible, the Journey Administrators would drive between facilities a round-trip of four hours in perfect conditions. This earned them the nickname Postman Pat.