While planning the design of the technology, be aware of the wide range of costs associated with developing, deploying, and maintaining an mHealth solution. Some are one-time costs, while others must be budgeted annually (or at other regular intervals). This list covers the key costs only (research and implementation cost considerations are noted elsewhere):
- Programming costs—staff time (for technical input and training,), developer time
- Hardware—phones, servers, computers, electric chargers, solar chargers
- Service costs—cost of sending messages, transmitting data; ongoing monitoring and maintenance (planned to meet the evolving scale of your program)
How have other programs estimated and tracked their technology costs? Here are two examples:
- Total Cost of Ownership for CommCare: This is a Total Cost of Ownership Model tool that Dimagi created to help organizations estimate the total cost of adopting CommCare or other mobile technologies for their community health workers. This planning tool provides a budget for adopting CommCare over five years.
- m4RH Cost Considerations: The cost of operating m4RH or a system like it will vary depending on the context. This one-pager explains the costing considerations for m4RH.