Sickle cell disease (SCD) affects over 400,000 newborns annually, with particularly high mortality rates in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) such as India and Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA). At this year's American Society of Hematology conference in San Diego, MedShr founder Dr Asif Qasim presents a groundbreaking mobile-first medical education programme and its impact on SCD diagnosis and management in Kenya, Ghana, Zambia, Uganda, Tanzania and India.
While effective medical education programmes are essential to the provision of high-quality healthcare services for patients with SCD, the delivery of such programmes in LMICs is challenging due to limited budgets, poor training infrastructure and equipment, and insufficient educators. Recently, consideration has been given to the role that digital learning platforms could play in supporting medical education in LMICs. To assess the impact of a smartphone app delivered medical education programme in improving HCP clinical knowledge around SCD in LMICs, focused on SSA (Kenya, Ghana, Zambia, Uganda, Tanzania) and India.
Presentations, complications, and management of acute, chronic, and long-term sickle-cell disease were the three themes identified as the key focus of the programme. Across a six-month period, nine clinical cases were shared with over 173,000 of MedShr’s user-base, with 139,000 of those in SSA and India; overall the programme achieved engagement from over 37,500 healthcare professionals in the target LMICs.
Polls were presented, both pre- and post-programme, to assess the educational impact; there was an overall improvement of clinician knowledge demonstrated across the three determined themes of almost 30%. Once concluded, it was found that 84% of participants deemed the content ‘very valuable’ to their clinical decision-making, while 90% stated that they had implemented knowledge obtained from the programme in clinical practice.
The results of the programme attest to the value of case-based learning on MedShr’s mobile-first platform. The Sickle Cell Disease Global Network will continue to connect healthcare professionals, facilitating peer-to-peer discussion.