Healthcare support for underserved communities using a mobile social media platform

Source of Publication

Information Systems


© 2017 Elsevier Ltd Emerging digital technologies for healthcare information support have already contributed to reducing the digital divide among rural communities. Although mobile health (m-health) applications facilitate provision of support for treatment consultation in real-time, their substantial potential has not yet been operationalised for decision support to meet citizen demand in developing nations. Modern healthcare information access, especially in rural areas of developing countries, is critical to effective healthcare, since both information and expert opinions are limited. Mobile phone and social media penetration, however, is often extensive. In this paper, we design and evaluate an innovative mobile decision support system (MDSS) solution for rural citizens healthcare decision support and information dissemination. Developed using a design science approach, the instantiated artifact connects underserved rural patients in Bangladesh to general practitioners (GPs) – allowing GPs, based on queries and information support provided, to evaluate patient conditions virtually and provide answers for further diagnosis or treatment. A cloud platform using social media embodies health record information and is used with a rating technique that matches queries to profiled remote experts, participating asynchronously. A comprehensive evaluation of the MDSS artifact ensures its utility, efficacy, and reliability.

Document Type


First Page


Last Page


Publication Date