Mobile technology deployments for health system strengthening have been increasing in India and around the world. Unfortunately, these initiatives have not resulted in tangible benefits at scale. Poor usability is one of the main causes for ineffective use of mobile technologies in health. Researchers at IDHN have been working with the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare and Digital LifeCare by Dell Technologies to improve the uptake of one of the world’s largest digital health platforms – India’s National NCD Portal. This research required a comprehensive and flexible exploration of the experiences and perceptions of community health workers, nurses, doctors and administrators to inform the design changes required for improving the NCD portal.
The Vinyasa Tool was developed by the team to comprehensively and efficiently elicit inputs from the end users. The tool was developed by distilling a large body of mHealth research into a structured framework that was used to unpack end users’ experiences of these complex systems. Using the tool the team elicited several environmental, user-related and technological factors that affected adoption and use of the NCD portal.
These findings were triangulated with findings from other research methods and used to improve the NCD portal design. As digital health implementations expand, we hope the Vinyasa tool can be used to improve mHealth use and health outcomes in India and similar countries.