I have contributed to evidence on mHealth and contraception. I was the lead investigator on the MOTIF (MObile Technology for Improved Family Planning) trial in Cambodia; which involved the design, implementation and evaluation of a mHealth intervention for post-abortion family planning; with Marie Stopes International, LSHTM and InSTEDD (our tech partner). We demonstrated that this support is feasible and can increase contraception uptake and continuation. We have published in high impact journals and I also led on a Cochrane review of mHealth interventions for contraception to contribute to the global evidence base. I also co-organise and teach on a family planning programmes MSc module at my university and work to improve contraception services where I work locally as a doctor in London
Working in Cambodia to improve health services at rural health centres. We went round houses asking what services they wanted; and many people said family planning methods; women and men! So we set up a basic family planning service at the health post and provided training to the staff and it started from then
Contraceptive discontinuation or non-use due to fear of side-effects; I've heard many myths and rumours working in many countries; as also captured in the demographic and health surveys. Our MOTIF intervention comprised automated messages and counsellor support via mobile phone; meaning that women in the most rural and remote areas were able to get good quality information and support; reminders about contraceptive methods, reassurance about side-effects to support continuation or safe-switching
In my opinion the biggest challenge is lack of good quality information. Contraceptive commodities are often available, but discontinuation is common due to fear of side-effects, and myths and rumours are common all over the world. I see this whilst working as a doctor in London as well as when conducting research in Cambodia. Assess to good quality information, whether it be via counselling, messaging, webs sites or apps can play a really important role in providing reassurance and choice
To work with great teams on the research/service provider interface to implement and evaluate innovative eHealth/digital interventions to support contraceptive use - to establish what works best, is safe and cost-effective and share that learning with the global family planning community; and shift from pilots to scaled-up interventions. I can envisage a programme of research studies that could further our knowledge in the field of eHealth and contraception to discuss with potential funders!