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The introduction of information and communication technologies (ICT) such as mobile phones to basic health service providers in rural areas can help bridge lacunae in their work environment, resulting from under-capacitated resources, constrained access to information and delayed interventions. The midwife mobile phone project was implemented in 15 health centres in Aceh Besar, Indonesia involving 223 midwives. The study group (121 participants) used project cell phones to transmit health statistics to a central database, contact coordinators and peers for health advice and information, and communicate with doctors and patients.

The ICT for healthcare development model (Author, Lwin, Ang, Lin, & Santoso, 2008) was used a heuristic to determine project effectiveness. Findings from the project indicate that the mobile phone has proven to be an effective and efficient device for facilitating smoother communication, and allowing speedier emergency response. The system also aids in gathering and disseminating health-related information to midwives, who in turn convey this knowledge to the patient community. The Technology-Community-Management model (Author & Zhao, 2009; Lee & Author, 2008) was used as a conceptual framework for probing the design of ICT for development projects. In particular, infrastructural, economic, technological, and socio-cultural barriers were examined to highlight the tension between a top-down hierarchical model of technology diffusion versus a more participatory bottom-up approach.