Palermo, Italy
Palermo, Italy

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Bellina L.,Mobilediagnosis | Missoni E.,Bocconi University
Health and Technology | Year: 2011

As previously demonstrated, m-phones can be easily used, without any adapter, to photograph and send images from a microscope. The objective of the current study was to test the appropriateness and educational potential of this mobile diagnosis approach with health workers in limited-resource settings, such as health units in Uganda, Bangladesh and Afghanistan. A total of 61 lab technicians were trained in basic lab skills and in using the m-phone to capture microscopic images and send them to distant Reference Centers for a second opinion. Structured pre-test interviews were used to define parameters such as health workers' sex and age, duty station, schooling, experience in the laboratory, access to internet and availability to and use of m-phones. Images from the microscope were also uploaded on the available computers and shared on the screen to facilitate group discussions and comparisons with reference images. Standard instructions were then elaborated and tested with totally inexperienced people. Results showed that use of integrated camera m-phones was widespread. Mobile Messaging Service (MMS) was commonly accessible, however, not used. Neither m-microscopy, nor clinical use of m-phones was previously known among local health workers. A standard written procedure, without any additional verbal instruction, was enough to easily learn to take pictures of the microscope samples, even for the most inexperienced person. The possibility to share images on the m-phone and/or a computer screen, and the group discussions proved to be phenomenal educational tools. © IUPESM and Springer-Verlag 2011.


Bellina L.,MobileDiagnosis | Azzolina G.,MobileDiagnosis | Nucatola I.,MobileDiagnosis | Maggio A.,MobileDiagnosis | And 4 more authors.
Health and Technology | Year: 2014

As previously demonstrated, m-phones can be easily used, without any adapter, to take and send images from a microscope (Terry in Telemed and e-Health 17(5): 320-323, 2011); (Bellina and Missoni in Health and Technol doi: 10.1007/s12553-011-0008, 2011). The extraordinary power of m-phone in the education of very low skilled students, illiterate and/or vulnerable subjects has been previously described (Bellina and Missoni in Telemed and e-Health 17(9): 750-750, 2011). The objective of the current study is to investigate the mechanisms generating the strong educational potential of the method, by exploring the psychological relationships brought by the use of m-phone in the learning mechanisms. A two-phase approach training was performed by using structured interviews, didactic tables, m-phones and computers as didactic tools. A total of 101 health workers have been successfully trained in basic lab skills and in the application of m-phone to capture microscope snapshot images, from September 2009 to May 2013 in limited-resource settings, such as rural health units in Uganda, Bangladesh, Afghanistan, Madagascar, Democratic Republic of Congo and Thailand. Results showed that sharing images by m-phone, together with a two-phase educational method, (phase of relation, with a personal approach to the student, and phase of contextualization, with an approach to local community problems)combined with the use of logical didactic tables, proved to be a phenomenal learning tool, immediately linked to students' personal perceptions. © 2014 IUPESM and Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg.

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