Al Dahdah Marine
Sociologist, IFRIS postdoctoral researcher
Post-doctoral research at CERMES3 on digital health in the Global South
« Health by other means »: The digitalisation of welfare states, care practices and patients in the Global South.
This research project offers to analyse digital technologies used to improve health coverage in the Global South. “Digital health” gathers information and communication technologies (ICTs) dedicated to health; it encompasses the use of internet (eHealth) or mobile phones (mHealth) for health purposes, telemedicine devices or biomedical databases, etc. This study on “Digital Health” will be attentive to digital programs in developing countries that offer health coverage to individuals, namely access to health services without financial hardship. This research calls on an analysis of digital politics, that is the means of government but also the political and socio-economical implications and consequences of digital technologies deployed in the developing world. This research will pay attention both to institutions and individuals involved in and impacted by digital health deployed in a context where health coverage is far from being universal. Based on case studies in South Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa, this research will unpack the major alterations to welfare states, health services and patients that occur throughout this process of digitalisation.
Key words : digital health ; health coverage ; developing countries ; India ; Kenya
Thesis in Sociology defended on January 20, 2017, CEPED, Paris Descartes / IRD
Mobile (for) development : mobile phones for maternal health in Ghana and India
Abstract: With 7 billion mobile users in 2015, mobile phones became the most widespread communication technology worldwide. From appointment reminders by SMS to mobile glucometers, healthcare systems are increasingly using mobile technologies. However, the use of mobile technologies for health called « mhealth » or « mobile health » has not been well documented so far, especially in the Global South. Through the study of a global mHealth program on maternal health implemented in Ghana and India, this research offers a first glance at those devices. Based on an interdisciplinary approach combining sociology of health, users studies and discource analysis, and a multisite ethnography conducted in Ghana and India, this dissertation provides an analysis of competing discourses on mHealth, describes those particular socio-technical assemblages deployed in a global biomedical context and details the specific impact of those mobile technologies on care provision and health practices for women targeted by those programs. This triple approach of discourses, uses and socio-political issues reveals power relations underlying the expansion of those new technical artefacts in the Global South.
Keywords : mhealth, mobile, cellphones, maternal health, developing, Global South, India, Ghana.