Solution Design & Testing
So far, you have developed a strong sense of the mobile technology environment and mHealth context within which your program will operate. Your target population research helped you understand how your audience interacts with mobile technology. You know how you want to use mHealth to complement a health program, and have pinpointed the intended outcomes of the mHealth intervention. With the Concept Development phase complete, you are now ready to develop and test your mHealth solution, which is the focus of this section of the mHealth Planning Guide.
Next, you will:
- Spell out your mHealth solution’s specific technology requirements and make key Technology Decisions.
- Undergo Content Development & Testing for the mHealth solution, which includes testing the content with prospective end users to assess comprehension and adapting the content as needed.
- Advance the solution design process through Prototyping & Usability Testing, which involves building a prototype of your mHealth technology, testing its usability with end users, and incorporating changes as needed.
At the end of this phase, you will have either a confirmed proof-of-concept OR clear evidence that the solution will not yield the intended results in its current form. If the former, you have a green light to continue with technology development, and to plan for roll-out and implementation. If the latter, you will need to decide whether to continue solution development and testing, so as to further adapt and validate the concept.
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THE EXPERTS SAY...
“In my experience it takes at least 2-3 years for a program to go from concept to reasonable scale. Planning and testing takes a long time, and implementers and donors have to be realistic about when results will start to appear.
For example, MAMA South Africa took about 3 months to conduct a large stakeholder workshop (with the government, MNOs, NGOs, etc.), define the implementing consortium of partners with associated roles and responsibilities, conduct two literature reviews, define the target audience (including focus groups with users), and landscape likely technology solutions. We needed 1 month for proposal approval from our funders. We spent 4-5 months on technology development, content localization and review, acquiring short codes, etc. We launched the beta version of the service about 10 months from the start of planning, and spent 2 months in user testing. It took an additional 12 months to formally integrate with an MNO platform and to reach 100,000 users. Two years from planning to fully operational is actually quite fast." - Joanne Peter, Mobile Alliance for Maternal Action