Etisalat Group's Mobile Baby (mHealth)

IBA12 Gold Stevie WinnerCompany: Etisalat Group
Entry Submitted By: Hill+Knowlton Strategies
Company Description: With operations in 17 countries across the Middle East, Africa and Asia, Etisalat is the largest telecommunications operator in the Middle East. Established in 1976, Etisalat now directly employs over 53,000 people across 17 markets.
Nomination Category: Products & Product Management Categories
Nomination Sub Category: Best New Product or Service of the Year - Health & Pharmaceuticals - Service

Nomination Title: Etisalat Group's Mobile Baby (mHealth)

Tell the story about this nominated product or service (up to 500 words). Describe its functions, features, benefits, and sales results to date:

What’s the service?

Etisalat’s Mobile Baby program is a complete suite of services enabling birth attendants and midwives to ensure safer pregnancies/ deliveries by enabling them to quickly and accurately identify, communicate and act on obstetric emergencies.

Since its deployment, Mobile Baby has helped save the lives of close to 300 women and their babies during childbirth.

Unique features of Mobile Baby:

1. Ultrasound based remote monitoring of pregnancy evolution
2. Step by step protocol to identify and report danger signs during labor and delivery
3. Money on the phone to pay for emergency transportation
4. Communication with referral facility indicating emergency transfer and requirements on arrival

Services to help the community:

The project team worked in close collaboration with the Zanzibar Ministry of Health and Social Welfare (MoHSW) to develop the project and select pilot areas that would have the greatest benefit from the project. Those were the North A district of Unguja and the Micheweni District of Pemba because of their low in facility delivery rates.

The project trained 24 Traditional Birth Attendants (TBA) from the pilot areas in the use of the mHealth application. To ensure equal participation across levels local health facilities, hospitals, and village leaders assisted with selecting the TBAs for the project.

During the implementation period, health facilities and hospitals in the project areas saw their in-facility delivery rates more than double on average. Additionally, there were no maternal deaths recorded among the registered mothers.

Usability – how and why?

Commercialization of the application doesn’t call for any change in infrastructure at the point of care. The midwife or doctor can use the same ultrasound system as they always have, they don’t have to invest in any servers or devices. The sonographers/midwifes/doctors do not have to learn a new technology. It is being activated within their normal workflow.

Support of local languages is a key part of the Mobile Baby service. In addition to English and Arabic, the user interfaces is also available in Swahili, Hausa, Ibo, Yoruba and soon in Urdu and Pashto.

Success and landmarks:

From November 2011 to April 2012, 365 pregnancies resulted in 286 successful births, while an additional 100 mothers are in their eighth or ninth month of pregnancy. The mHealth initiative also led to significant increases in their in-facility delivery totals, rising to 67 births from an average of 44 births per month.

Through Etisalat’s mHealth initiative, the average cost per delivery is only $22.26, a minimal expense for ensuring the safety of a mother during her pregnancy, whereby no maternal deaths were recorded within the project. Alternatively, home deliveries carry an average cost of only $6.25 per birth, and in-facility deliveries carry an average cost of only $29.87.

Etisalat and its partners are helping the Tanzanian government contribute towards two of the Millennium Development Goal 5 (MDG5) which seeks to reduce maternal mortality in childbirth by 75 percent and deliver universal access to reproductive health by 2015.

Provide a brief (up to 100 words) biography about the leader(s) of the team that developed the nominated product or service:

Essa Al Haddad was appointed Chief Marketing Officer of Etisalat Group in May 2006 after 20 years’ service at the company. He focuses on developing Etisalat’s marketing initiatives and is a member of the Etisalat Internal Investment Committee and the Future Challenges Steering Committee.

Al Haddad began his career in the network planning section of the engineering department, to project implementation, technical strategy development until heading the engineering department as EVP Engineering and now under his Group role, he also serves as Chairman of the Emerging Markets Telecommunications Company (EMTS) across the Middle East and Africa. Al Haddad completed his Higher Diploma in Telecom Engineering in the UK where he went on to complete his MBA. He is also a Chartered Electrical Engineer.