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Why the Community Health Worker (CHW) module?

On average in India, there is 1 healthcare provider for every 2000 patients. This is twice as many patients as the World Health Organization standard, which calls for 1 health provider for 1000. Other countries, such as the United States and Cuba, with ratios of 1 to 300 and 1 to 165 respectively, have drastically lower ratios. This is not even counting the discrepancies of the urban and rural areas, where certain rural areas can have up to 40,000 patients per health care provider.

Therefore, community health workers are vital in the connection between patients and the necessary medical knowledge and treatment. While the draw of becoming a doctor is decreasing, the ease of becoming a CHW is actually increasing. However, though there are more volunteers, these are individuals whose enthusiasm overcomes the face that some are not literate or have sufficient background to tackle some of the complex issues they are presented on a daily basis.

Technology has the ability to bridge the gap in communication, linking the community health workers with knowledge on the cloud to help them excel at their job. Ultimately, this will even allow a link between the patients and the cloud of knowledge itself. Even with the connectivity issues aside, technology has the potential to scale and allow improvements in the health of patients even in the outskirts of the community.


Database (OpenMRS)
App server (MOTECH)
Phone application


Currently, the phone application that is created when interfacing MOTECH with OpenMRS is a Java ME application. The next step is to port this J2ME application for MOTECH into a javascript client in Sencha Touch.

An HTML based application that would work for a larger selection of phones would also allow for greater functionality. the next step beyond simply implementing the functionality that is traditionally associated with the paper based system is to expand what a CHW is able to do to help their patients. For example, a reminder system will ease the burden on the CHW while ensuring compliance and combating diseases.

Steps Taken