The e-CARE application has been developed by MSF to help healthcare professionals improve their ability to diagnose children. Set up in a health center in the Ouaka prefecture, Central Africa, this electronic device uses an algorithm to suggest treatments better suited to the health problems of young children seen in consultation.
When Nancy enters the small consultation room at the Kidjigra health center, her two-year-old daughter Chancelvie is crying and looks very tired. She has come for a consultation because the little girl has had a fever at home for several days, with no improvement. Bénédicte, a health worker at the center, listens to the various complaints and then enters them on the electronic tablet in front of her on the consultation table.
Depending on what the parent says, I select the main complaints from the tablet and click on the corresponding options," explains Bénédicte. The app guides us through an algorithm throughout the consultation, directing us to the most likely diagnosis and the right corresponding treatment to propose."
Better care for children under the age of five
MSF has developed the e-CARE application to overcome the shortage of qualified personnel in the areas where it operates. Based on an electronic clinical algorithm, it aims to improve the diagnostic process for children under the age of 5, enabling rational treatment to be proposed.
Implemented in a health center in the Ouaka prefecture just over a year ago, e-CARE is already in the consolidation phase and awaiting wider deployment at other sites. Designed to serve as a virtual medical assistant, the software enables caregivers to ask all the questions needed to establish a proper diagnosis and recommend a rational course of treatment.
Combating multi-resistance to antibiotics
"Before e-CARE came along, patients were almost automatically given antibiotics. This is not good because it creates resistance. Now, we can refer to what the tablet suggests and find other solutions," confirms Bénédicte.
Bénédicte, health assistant at the Kidjigra center, uses the e-CARE application for her pediatric consultations. Bambari, Central African Republic
Over the years, over-prescription has exposed people to the risk of developing increased resistance to antibiotics, which poses a real public health problem. By making it possible to rectify this situation at an early age, the application is helping to address this major problem. For example, in the Kidjigra health center, a significant reduction in the number of antibiotic prescriptions was observed, dropping from 40% to 21% after one month's introduction of e-CARE.