As low- and middle-income countries transition from paper to digital systems, family planning programs can benefit from unprecedented opportunities to improve services. Investments in digital health tools have expanded exponentially, but information on what works—and what does not— remains limited and scattered. As investments have increased, digital applications and data fragmentation have proliferated, but stakeholders are moving towards more coordinated efforts to scale digital health solutions, support countries’ digital health infrastructure, and share evidence-based learnings.
This Digital Health Compendium enables users to explore case studies across a range of digital health technologies used to enhance family planning programs mainly in sub-Saharan Africa, but also in other regions of the world. Digital health applications in family planning programs can be broadly classified as those affecting demand generation, service delivery, supply chain management, and the policy and enabling environment. In many low- and middle-income countries, digital health innovations were adopted earlier in other health sectors, including HIV/AIDS, maternal and child health, and noncommunicable disease prevention and response. As a result, much of the impact evidence is likewise restricted to those sectors. To advance greater adoption of digital technology in family planning programs, more data and information on the challenges, opportunities, scalability, and results are needed. This compendium aims to consolidate emerging information and data on applications of digital technology in family planning programs to inform adoption and scale-up of successful approaches.
All of the case studies were submitted by the implementing organizations and include a description of the digital health intervention, program context, and, if available, important findings and lessons learned through rigorous evaluations or program data. The compendium facilitates a quick search for case studies based on the target user for digital health intervention, building block for the digital health enabling environment, family planning program classification, and country location. The case studies give policy and program decisionmakers insights on real-world applications of digital health, promising practices, challenges, and other lessons that can be applied to current and future programs.
A Kenyan, Artificial Intelligence (AI) powered influencer marketing platform leveraging social media influencers to promote HIV testing, STI testing, and cervical cancer screening in Nairobi.
Director of Partnerships and Development
AIfluence - Digital Partner leading engagement on BCC activities
Marie Stopes Kenya - SRH Lead partner
The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine under the Partnership for Enhanced Engagement in Research (PEER) funding mechanism.
Strategy and Investment, Services and Applications
Social media platforms have become a common source of health information among youth across the world. People rely on social media including Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and others, to learn and improve their knowledge about HIV and sexual and reproductive health.
Marie Stopes Kenya collaborated with AIfluence to conduct a data-driven marketing campaign within a sub-region of Nairobi called Eastleigh, to increase the uptake of HIV/AIDS Testing Services (HTS), STI testing and treatment, and cervical cancer screening and testing among adolescents and young adults. These services have been limited particularly among adolescents and young adults due to the lack of awareness of safe and trusted health facilities, concerns around the cost of testing, misconceptions, and fear about the next steps in case they are diagnosed as positive.
Marie Stopes engaged AIfluence—a Kenyan, AI-powered influencer marketing platform—to engage social media influencers to promote HIV testing, STI testing, and cervical cancer screening at the Marie Stopes clinic in Eastleigh, Nairobi. AIfluence collaborated with 38 micro and nano influencers, people with only a few hundred or thousands of followers, who posted content regularly on their social media accounts over six weeks.
Influencers generated their own content such as photos, videos, memes, gifs, etc. that was unique to their style, tone, and language of preference to communicate to their followers about these services at the Marie Stopes facility. This pilot aimed to drive more adolescents to these services, identify the most acceptable channels of communication, and understand the barriers to accessing these health services within this community.
The marketing campaign reached 1,549,829 people on social media. Out of the people reached, 24% were in the age range of up to 24 years while 68.1% of the audience was female and 31.9% male. During the campaign, 39% of the audience was reached on Facebook with Twitter and Instagram contributing 31% and 30% of the total reach, respectively.
Users between the ages of 18 and below made up less than 5% of users on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook, but typically utilized platforms such as TikTok & Snapchat.
Influencers conducted surveys of their followers via social media which revealed that some of the primary concerns in seeking services included the cost of services, the distance between the facility and individual, and confidentiality. From the campaign, 97% of respondents considered the quality of service a significant factor when selecting the medical facility while 81% of respondents considered pricing a very important factor when selecting the medical facility.
At the baseline, the facility was conducting an average of 19 HIV tests per month, and after the 6-week campaign that increased to 53 tests in a single month, an increase of 2.8 times. Cervical cancer screenings increased from an average of 5 screenings per month to 10 screenings after the campaign. STI testing rates remained unchanged.
The project demonstrated success in utilizing influencers for driving service demand and uptake. The following steps are to create localized microsites for each facility to share information such as clinic hours, service pricing, photographs of the facility, and more. With this information available we believe that it will address some of the concerns raised in the feedback messages and bring validity to the campaign before someone even goes to the MSI facilities. We will also launch this campaign with additional facilities and possibly broaden the focus on services to include family planning.