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What is emocha®?

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The electronic Mobile Comprehensive Health Application (emocha®) is an application, developed by the Johns Hopkins Center for Clinical Global Health Education. emocha® is a secure, highly flexible and adaptable, mHealth application developed by the Johns Hopkins Center for Clinical Global Health Education. emocha® is designed to leverage mobile phones to assist health programs, researchers, providers, and patients improve communication, education, patient care, and data collection. emocha® synergizes the power of mobile technology, Android-supported devices, video and audio files, and a server-based application to analyze and GPS-map large amounts of data, implement interactive multimedia training, and streamline data collection and analyses.

In late 2013, emocha® was exclusively licensed and spun off as a start up company.  emocha Mobile Health Inc now operates out of Baltimore.

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What Can emocha® Do?

The software package consists of two applications.

  1. The Device

    One component runs on Android based smartphones and these are its main features: (See Screenshots)

    Data Collection:

    Using a customized version of ODK, emocha® uses XML based forms to gather data in multiple formats (single or multiple choice answers, text entry, pictures, bar codes, audio and video). The application displays and allows users to edit this information, and the data is automatically uploaded to a back end server, where medical staff can access it almost in real time. From the Back End server it’s possible to define the link between forms, skip patterns (when to display or not a form), as well as other configuration and security properties. Communication between devices and server is done through a 128 bits SSL tunnel.

    Distance Learning:

    emocha® plays multimedia courses and lectures (recorded in MP4 format) and then asks the user to perform a quiz to test the contents of the quiz, results are submitted to the Back End for further analysis on the impact of the courses. Multimedia resources are managed from the Back End, and downloaded to the phone whenever a user requests them.


    Using the voice calling capabilities and the camera on the phone it’s possible to communicate with to a consultant doctor on call. Contact lists can be also defined in the Back End server in order to make communication easier.

  2. The Server 

    The second component runs on a web server with a MySQL database and application code in PHP based on the Kohana framework. Its features are: (See Screenshots)

    API communication with devices:
    The API handles device authentication and provides a set of functions for devices to transmit data to and from the server.

    Content administration:
    Users can manage content destined for devices, including:

    • Simple touch-screen forms for collecting specific patient data from the field
    • Clinical algorithms and checklists to assist providers in implementing best clinical practices in the field, while collecting patient data.
    • Video files to demonstrate specific clinical or laboratory procedures on the phone.
    • Interactive training courses, that include touch screen tools to test providers on their knowledge and understanding of the training.
    • Links to webcasts, clinical support tools, consult opinions, clinical updates.

    Data collection and analysis:
    Having received data from the devices via the API, the server application stores the data and makes it available for analysis and display in a number of ways:

    • Browsing and searching for form data for individual households or patients
    • Exporting tabulated form data, including for Excel
    • Mapping of household or patient locations using Googlemaps
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What makes emocha® Unique?

emocha® is designed to synergize the power of wireless mobile collection of patient data, the capacity of the new Android-supported devices to display high quality interactive touch screen forms, as well as video and audio files, with the power of server-based applications to analyze and GPS-map large amounts of data from the community and to create new training content in a variety of formats.

Therefore, emocha® is designed to efficiently coordinate and accomplish 5 very key steps for any clinical training program:

  • To use clinical data collected from the point-of-care, to identify which health care workers in the community need to be trained.
  • To analyze the clinical data, to identify the most critical knowledge or skill they need.
  • To create and efficiently deliver high-quality training content to target these specific training needs.
  • To evaluate the impact of this training, based on data collected directly from the field, to ensure that provider knowledge and skills improve and result in better health for their patients.
  • To empower the providers in their communities, at the point-of-care, with the tools to monitor and improve their own clinical care practice.
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How is emocha® making a Difference?

emocha® projects are currently being deployed and evaluated in a wide-range of health care, public health and research programs in Uganda, Afghanistan and the US, with additional projects under development for Central America, India, Bangladesh, Zambia and Ethiopia.  These diverse projects include community and home based strategies to optimize HIV counseling and testing, HIV treatment adherence, TB diagnosis and treatment, malaria prevention and treatment, maternal and child health, reduction of IV drug use, management of chronic diseases, and prevention of domestic violence. CLICK HERE to view a brief video about eMOCHA®.

For more information about emocha® projects the CCGHE has been involved, contact:

Larry Chang MD, MPH

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