Date of Original Version



Conference Proceeding

Abstract or Description

Community health programs in many developing countries are very similar: most involve semi-trained, semi-educated health workers (often female), who provide health services in their own communities in a large hierarchically managed system across the country. In Pakistan, recent evaluations of the government's flagship community health program have revealed the need for improvement in health workers' knowledge. It is our conjecture that telephone-based adaptive speech interfaces, tailored to the specific information needs of health workers, are a viable alternative to current information access mechanisms such as handbooks and manuals. We will be designing, developing and testing such an interface (“HealthLine”) in the coming year in Pakistan. Interviews with health workers indicate that speech interfaces may potentially be much more useful for health workers than traditional media.