Best Practices for Designing and Implementing Client-Oriented, Interactive Voice Response-Based Digital Health Solutions: Lessons from a COVID-19 Triage Tool in Malawi

Session Date: April 21, 2021

Session Description: Client-oriented, IVR-based solutions can be used to move beyond one-size-fits-all approaches to digital health. The speakers will lead a 20-minute presentation on such lessons gleaned from a pilot in Malawi. The session will begin with an introduction of the novel COVID-19 triage tool and highlight the need for its roll out during the peak of the pandemic. Thereafter, the presentation will focus on the tool’s development process, from early-stage conceptual decisions to strategic adjustments made to optimize usability during the tool’s pilot phase. The team will contextualize each design decision and explain how it shaped the tool, providing insights relevant to IVR-based digital health solutions across health contexts. We will also share how Ministry of Health priorities guided development and how the tool complements public health services. The tool could serve as a platform for randomized control trials, contribute to contact tracing, and illuminate disease outbreaks. The benefits and challenges of each approach will be discussed. The session will conclude with a 10-minute Q&A session between the audience and the presenting team.