Ncediso was developed for The Centre for Community Technologies (CCT) at the Nelson Mandela University in Port Elizabeth, South Africa. The CCT aims to promote radical development of the human potential of particularly disadvantaged communities through the use of technologies. It is the aim of the CCT to promote policy interventions aimed at lowering market costs of technologies which hold significant prospects for social and economic empowerment of poor communities.
In South Africa, like in many other developing countries where access to basic healthcare services are limited, point-of-care technology to assist healthcare workers with identifying symptoms associated with communicable and non-communicable diseases, is a major challenge. Without basic healthcare, the life expectancy and quality of life of citizens are limited and the burden of disease remains a challenge. Early detection of basic symptoms of communicable and non-communicable diseases, learning disabilities and sensory impairment are virtually impossible without qualified nurses or doctors in schools.
Community healthcare workers in rural environments, face various challenges on a daily basis, including how to diagnose illnesses by identifying the signs and symptoms a patient presents as well as a lack of up to date information on communicable and non-communicable diseases. The lack of adequate healthcare services, financial means to pay for such services, transportation to healthcare facilities etc. are some of the common barriers that limit rural communities to get the care they need.
In order to make healthcare- and medical information more accessible to those with no or limited medical training, a technology tool named Ncediso™, was developed. The aim of Ncediso™ is not only to educate users but also assist with the detection, monitoring and evaluation of diseases for the Department of Health. The need for such a tool has been validated through previous research conducted by the project leaders in partnership with government bodies such as the Department of Health, The Department of Science and Technology and the Medical Research Council.
The Ncediso™ App is an integrated mobile application developed to up-skill community healthcare workers including nurses and clinic practitioners in areas where basic healthcare, first aid skills and clinics are scarce. The application allows for the early detection of various disabilities and diseases among children, child nutrition, chronic disease management, information on infectious and non-infectious diseases, first aid and various other conditions.
The application also offers interoperability between the different users. Ncediso™ underwent strict user testing and is available to users through Google Play Store.