This Tuesday at Change, Heather Underwood will talk about Improving Maternal Labor Monitoring in Kenya Using Digital Pen Technology.
Paper-based systems for monitoring maternal labor have been shown to reduce life-threatening complications in low-resource environments; however, significant barriers exist to the use of these tools in developing countries. This paper presents the PartoPen – a digital pen system that enhances a common labor-monitoring form known as the partograph. The PartoPen system provides real-time data feedback and reinforces birth attendant training, while retaining the paper-and-pen interface currently used by most healthcare workers. In this presentation, the results from a preliminary user evaluation, and two pilot studies of the system in Kenya will be discussed. The qualitative and quantitative results collected in these studies suggest that the PartoPen system effectively addresses many of the current barriers facing effective partograph use in developing countries.
Heather Underwood graduated in 2009 from the University of Washington with a degree in computer science, with a strong focus in the field of ICTD – information and communication technologies for development. In addition to interning for Microsoft, Zillow, and IBM while at UW, Heather focused her academic work on developing educational games for public schools in India. After graduating, she worked as an iphone app developer for a health-focused San Francisco startup – MedHelp – but left to continue her work in ICTD by pursuing an interdisciplinary PhD at the University of Colorado Boulder’s ATLAS Institute. Heather’s current work focuses on developing point-of-care health solutions for maternal and child health in developing countries, and is supported by a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship and a Bill & Melinda Gates Global Challenge Grant.
What: Heather Underwood on Improving Maternal Labor Monitoring in Kenya Using Digital Pen Technology
When: Tuesday, October 23rd at 12 noon
Where: The Allen Center, room CSE 203