Medly Uganda is a mobile health (mHealth) project that is a joint collaboration between UINCD, Yale University (CT, USA), and University Health Network (Toronto, Canada). Medly Uganda builds upon the experience and expertise of UHN’s Centre for Digital Therapeutics (formerly Centre for Global eHealth Innovation) in designing and implementing Medly, a self-care application for patients with heart failure.
Medly Uganda leverages a Government of Uganda-owned and -operated mHealth platform called FamilyConnect which uses technologies (USSD and SMS) available on all types of mobile phones to provide self-care education for pregnant and postpartum women. In 2018, Uganda Ministry of Health authorized UINCD to develop and integrate NCD modules into the FamilyConnect platform. The process of adapting Medly to the Ugandan context involved extensive stakeholder engagement and mixed methods research with a focus on user-centered and service design. Medly Uganda uses patient symptom reporting to triage patients’ level of symptom severity, provide relevant self-care information, connect them with a clinician, and make treatment recommendations. We developed a clinician-facing dashboard that automatically integrates the reported symptoms and system output with clinician documentation to enhance longitudinal care. Our pilot clinical trial, “An accessible, scalable, patient-facing mHealth application for self-care of heart failure in LMIC” was funded by the National Institutes of Health (clinicaltrials.gov: NCT04426630) and was implemented at the Uganda Heart Institute. We continue to work on further contextual adaptations of Medly Uganda with a focus on improving equitable access and to explore applications for this promising tool in other chronic conditions, including mental health conditions
This body of work was started by Dr. Martin Muddu when he was a Global Health Equity Scholar under the mentorship of UINCD co-directors Dr. Ssinabulya and Schwartz. Dr. Muddu began by describing, for the first time, an integrated HIV-hypertension (HTN) care cascade and demonstrated shortcomings of HTN care within a high-functioning HIV programme in Eastern Uganda. He then applied that cascade and lessons learned to a mixed methods study at the Makerere Joint AIDS Program, the largest HIV clinic in Uganda, serving over 16,000 persons living with HIV and then implemented an integrated care strategy there and demonstrated outstanding patient outcomes. Building on this work, Drs. Muddu, Ssinabulya, and Schwartz are currently participating in PULESA-Uganda, a 5-year, NIH-funded implementation study of HIV and HTN in Kampala and Wakiso Districts. PULESA is one of six projects in the HLB-SIMPLe Consortium.
We are developing additional research areas and will update this page accordingly.
For a complete list of our research publications click here