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Siying Zhang and Lisanne van Lent: Network Institute Academy Assistants

The VU’s Network Institute has awarded a research grant to two master students: Siying Zhang and Lisanne van Lent to do an interdisciplinary research on mhealth (mobile health) for the prevention and management of the spread of Dengue virus and other infectuous diseases in Southeast Asia. In this research project the health risks, as well as the communication with rural communities will be central. The research will intent to take various perspectives (policy, practice, grassroots, community, users, technology development, knowledge management). The partner institution of VU in Malaysia, UNIMAS (University of Malaysia Sarawak) will provide support to this research project, co-supervising the students and facilitating their communication with the health workers and local communities.


In this research Lisanne and Siying want to find out the current practices for design approach, implementation and usability evaluation of mHealth based surveillance systems for infectious diseases in low- middle income countries. To answer this question they need to understand well how mHealth based infectious disease surveillance systems work. What approaches have been employed to evaluate the usability of mHealth based infectious disease surveillance systems, and by whom? What methods have been used to evaluate the usability? Which usability features (by the users) are targeted in the studies?

A second question will focus on the contextual factors and the implementation of the mHealth based surveillance systems. In addition it will evaluate on which factors facilitate the implementation of mHealth based surveillance systems. The second literature review will be answering the following subquestions:

What are the predominant characteristics of mHealth based infectious disease surveillance systems in terms of local contexts, problem domains, targeted participants and outcome measures?
What are the predominant barriers and facilitators in the implementation of mHealth based surveillance systems in the community?

  • Combined conclusion
    In the end we want to combine the results by showing them in a flowchart of the process, which provides a good perspective we might use in the further master thesis. The flowchart will exist of the following steps:
    Analyze the local context
  • Determine which techniques will be implemented
  • Evaluate the usability of systems
  • Consider how we can implement it in the community

To be continued….

This research is guided bt the Sustainable Development Goals, and aligns with Goal 3: Health and Well-being: “Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages.”

Schermafbeelding 2019-12-08 om 10.06.19