Interoperability frameworks linking mHealth applications to electronic record systems

Background: mHealth presents innovative approaches to enhance primary healthcare delivery in
developing countries like Botswana. The impact of mHealth solutions can be improved if they are
interoperable with eRecord systems such as electronic health records, electronic medical records and
patient health records. eHealth interoperability frameworks exist but their availability and utility for linking
mHealth solutions to eRecords in developing world settings like Botswana is unknown. The recently
adopted eHealth Strategy for Botswana recognises interoperability as an issue and mHealth as a
potential solution for some healthcare needs, but does not address linking the two.
Aim: This study reviewed published reviews of eHealth interoperability frameworks for linking mHealth
solutions with eRecords, and assessed their relevance to informing interoperability efforts with respect to
Botswana’s eHealth Strategy.
Methods: A structured literature review and analysis of published reviews of eHealth interoperability
frameworks was performed to determine if any are relevant to linking mHealth with eRecords. The
Botswanan eHealth Strategy was reviewed.
Results: Four articles presented and reviewed eHealth interoperability frameworks that support linking of
mHealth interventions to eRecords and associated implementation strategies. While the frameworks were
developed for speci¦c circumstances and therefore were based upon varying assumptions and
perspectives, they entailed aspects that are relevant and could be drawn upon when developing an
mHealth interoperability framework for Botswana. Common emerging themes of infrastructure,
interoperability standards, data security and usability were identi¦ed and discussed; all of which are
important in the developing world context such as in Botswana. The Botswana eHealth Strategy
recognises interoperability, mHealth, and eRecords as distinct issues, but not linking of mHealth solutions
with eRecords.

Ndlovu, K., Mars, M., & Scott, R. (2020). Interoperability frameworks linking mHealth applications to electronic record systems.

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