Electronic information capturing, processing and reporting of routine health data using smartphone-based application
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The primary health facilities are the core source of health data in the current health system. As a core source there is a need for an effective capturing, processing and reporting of this sensitive and crucial data for the smooth functioning of the health sector. In Tanzania, the routine reporting of health data from the primary health facilities to the district level is a manual system in which hard copies of different report forms are physically submitted to the district hospital, a computerized system is being implemented from the district level to the national level. The data collected from the primary health facilities delays and reaches the districts late due to different challenges among them being the remoteness of health facilities to the district hospitals. The delay causes the districts to fail in utilizing the collected data effectively to make evidence-based decisions. The research aimed to bridge the technological gap that exists in the utilization of Information and Communication Technology in the health sector and thus address the late reporting problem by enabling data transfer through a smartphone-based application. A qualitative research methodology is carried out coupled with agile development methodology for mobile applications in the design and development of the mobile phone reporting application As a result, a smartphone-based application for reporting routine health data is developed which will facilitate on time submission of reports, improvements on the reporting frequency and reduction on the cost for reports submission. The reporting officers will no longer travel physically to the district hospital to submit the reports.