SMS Care



An SMS database management tool. 

Learn more about the Patient Identification Challenge and why identifying individuals in need of medical treatment and finding ways to make that treatment accessible reduces poverty.



A simple SMS database management tool allows SMS Care to identify underserved patients, connect them to their nearest provider, and manager their treatment through to discharge. While the service model will be tested with clubfoot in Uganda, the framework can easily scale to identify other diseases. 

Clubfoot is a commonly recognized condition within Uganda but people do not seek treatment due to a lack of knowledge of available care and apprehension of the associated costs. SMS Care tackles this apprehension through a public awareness campaign that directs parents and caregivers of children with clubfoot towards free assistance. By texting a free number, they enter the database and self-identify to a central coordinator. Their phone number then becomes their unique case identifier, allowing the team to track patient progress until discharge. Mobile money is also connected with this number to compensate the caregiver throughout the treatment cycle while care is provided through partnership with CURE Clubfoot, a leading iNGO establishing a network of clinics to deliver free care to treat this condition. 

Once an individual enters the system, the central coordinator calls to verify if they need assistance. If so, a trained health care practitioner (HPC) is dispatched for an in-person visit. If the condition is present, the HPC assigns the child to their nearest care clinic and updates their record to indicate progression. The caregiver is informed that mobile money will automatically credit their phone number to cover the cost of travel and time taken off work which is triggered by this progression through the system and the assigned clinic is told to expect a visit within the week. 



  • Identify 100 patients during the pilot 
  • Reach 100,000 parents of children between the ages of one and two through a public awareness campaign during the pilot 
  • Establish a care partnership with CURE Clubfeet for clinic referrals during the pilot 



Ron Morrison - Manager, human-centered program design

Thomas Disley - Technology design and marketing strategy