Part of the iHRIS family of health workforce data solutions

Maintained & operated by IntraHealth International

Technology

mHero is an innovative way to connect existing technologies.

mHero brings together data from existing health information systems and locally popular communication platforms to enable targeted, real-time communication. This connection is made by using global interoperability standards for health information exchange, specifically Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resources (FHIR)

 

Before: architecture of the original mHero

The original conception of mHero linked two free, open-source platforms: iHRIS, the IntraHealth-developed health workforce information systems software, and RapidPro, UNICEF's communication platform that enables communication via text messages and interactive voice response (IVR). This configuration served the Liberian Ministry of Health's needs as health worker contact information could be pulled from iHRIS and used to deliver to health workers in the form of simple text messages.

 

Now: current architecture of mHero

Advancements in technology, both hardware and software, inspired IntraHealth to update mHero with funding from the Gates Foundation, via Digital Square. mHero is now more widely interoperable. It can now talk with other FHIR-compliant data systems, such as drawing patients' phone numbers stored in OpenMRS.

mHero’s architecture is flexible to also quickly add connections to Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp.  As smartphones become more common, images, audio clips, and videos can be sent and received at very low cost. Moreover, the new WhatApp business accounts allow for forms, automated replies, and other functionality not found on regular consumer accounts, adding greater power in data collection. 

mHero can also be implemented alongside a traditional call center, where curated messages can enable trained staff to respond with speed and effectiveness.

Finally, we are also enhancing mHero to incorporate Natural Language Processing, a form of artificial intelligence. That means that frontline health workers can ask questions using normal speech and the system can respond with the appropriate government-approved messages.

 

For developers: source code can be found in the emNutt GitHub repository and the iHRIS GitHub repository.