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SMS Pregnancy Journal

Mothers-to-be can keep an SMS journal of their pregnancy. Each day they send how they're feeling & health details to the service and this is kept as a record. The service can alert mums or healthcare workers of any anomalies

Photo of Haiyan Zhang
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Simple text messages can be used to track the progress of a pregnancy without the need for smartphone technology.

The mum sends texts to the service with how her pregnancy is progressing. The message format could be standardized so the service can chart vital details (temperature, weight gain) for healthcare workers monitoring remotely.

The service could also begin to create a set of charts with average health vitals for women in specific geographic locations.

What is the minimum level of mobile technology needed for this concept?

SMS and basic phones. Cloud technology that would store and process the incoming data.

How could this work in a low-literacy context?

The SMS format could be very simple, perhaps asking the mother to respond to very short keywords: fine, bloated, sick.

Which partners could help realise and deliver this solution?

  • Oxfam
  • Nokia
  • Mobile operators

Concept Builds

Thanks so much for everyone's comments! I've created a scenario to better illustrate the concept based on your ideas. Flip through the image gallery to see the scenario and read it here: 1. Amara is recently pregnant and is at her local healthcare worker to get a checkup. The healthcare worker tells her about a new health service, MumDiary, sponsored by Oxfam and the local government. The service will help keep track of Amara’s pregnancy via mobile, to ensure the health of her and her baby. 2. The healthcare worker helps Amara sign up on her Nokia 1110. A very basic phone with SMS and voice. Amara completes an online questionnaire with the healthcare worker, so the service can get to know a bit more about her situation. 3. Amara is pretty comfortable with SMS and chooses the text version of the service. There is also the option for recorded voice messages if Amara prefers to listen to someone’s voice. 4. Each morning, the service greets her via SMS and asks how she’s doing. When she replies with her health details for that day (mood, temperature, weight), the service sends back a reassuring message to let her know that she’s within the normal range for women in her stage of pregnancy. 5. The service also texts her from time-to-time to let her know about foods she should be eating and exercises she should be doing at her stage. 6. When Amara meets up with her healthcare worker again, the worker can access her health details via the MumDiary service to just double-check if everything is okay. 7. In case something is not right, like Amara isn’t gaining enough weight, the service will alert the healthcare service and prompt her to make an appointment. 8. The local healthcare centre also uses the service to keep in touch with local mums and organize meetups so mothers can support eachother.

Virtual Team

I'd like to add the following community members to my virtual team. Thanks for your builds! Avi Solomon - Michele FG - Faiz Munshi - Kevin Hong - Louise Wilson - Joy Jackson - Sina Mossayeb - Arjan Tupan - Lisa LaRochelle - Vincent Cheng -

Evaluation results

9 evaluations so far

1. Does this concept have the potential to save lives related to maternal health in the poorest and most marginalized communities?

A great deal of potential - 66.7%

Some potential - 22.2%

Not a lot of potential - 11.1%

2. How realizable do you think this concept can be? Think about the real issues faced by low-income communities, such as literacy challenges, affordability of devices and tools, usage costs.

It's very realizable - 77.8%

There are some hurdles to realization - 22.2%

This concept is not realistic - 0%

3. How much does this concept leverage resources and partners in existing low-income communities? Thus enhancing positive aspects of the way things work in the community as opposed to taking away what is a valued way of working and living in the community.

This concept works harmoniously with existing resources and partners - 44.4%

This concept does not work against existing resources and partners - 55.6%

This concept conflicts with existing resources and partners - 0%

4. Can this concept become self-sustaining and even provide some livelihood value add to the community?

This concept could become a self-sustaining business for locals - 33.3%

This concept still needs some work before it is self-sustaining - 44.4%

This concept is not self-sustaining at all - 22.2%

5. Will this concept work in low-tech & low-connectivity environments?

This concept is very well suited to low-tech and low-connectivity environments - 77.8%

This concept needs to be evaluated for technology feasibility - 11.1%

This concept may be too high-tech for low-income communities - 11.1%


Join the conversation:

Photo of DeletedUser


Nice idea! As others have suggested, you might also want to think about the incentives for contribution: how can you ensure that mothers will respond continuously and consistently?

Photo of DeletedUser


What if women received free phone credit(s) each day for their text update. It would help keep regular contact, as well as incentive to check in each day.

Photo of DeletedUser


I think that would be a great incentive :-)

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