In Practice

Comparison of two text message (mHealth) campaigns for the Deaf: Contracted out v. conducted in-house

Damian Hacking, Yan Kwan Lau, Hanne Jensen Haricharan, Marion Heap

Abstract


Cell phone-based health information (mobile health or mHealth) campaigns are an emerging technology. This evaluation focused on the aspect of cost of two health information campaigns, one on hypertension and one on pregnancy. Researchers could either contract out the technical components of the campaigns or attempt to run the campaigns themselves, in-house. The in-house campaigns cost an estimated ZAR13 548.72 v. the private provider quotes which ranged from ZAR27 542.97 to ZAR34 227.59. Running the campaigns in-house was more labour intensive and required more technical expertise, but had a reduced delivery failure rate (9.2% in-house v. 30.0% private provider). Running small to medium SMS (text message) campaigns for evaluative purposes proved advantageous over contracting out to private providers. Larger-scale evaluations and full-scale roll-out will require the services of private providers, but it is still essential that researchers actively engage with and monitor the technical aspects of these campaigns.


Authors' affiliations

Damian Hacking, Health and Human Rights Programme, School of Public Health and Family Medicine, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Cape Town, South Africa

Yan Kwan Lau, Health and Human Rights Programme, School of Public Health and Family Medicine, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Cape Town, South Africa

Hanne Jensen Haricharan, Health and Human Rights Programme, School of Public Health and Family Medicine, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Cape Town, South Africa

Marion Heap, Health and Human Rights Programme, School of Public Health and Family Medicine, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Cape Town, South Africa

Full Text

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Keywords

mHealth; Communication technology; Cost analysis; Mobile phone; Text messaging; Hypertension; Pregnancy

Cite this article

South African Medical Journal 2016;106(1):47-49. DOI:10.7196/SAMJ.2016.v106i1.9640

Article History

Date submitted: 2015-03-24
Date published: 2015-11-20

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