Maternal Healthcare Application for Haitian Women Receives Best Paper Award

iSchool Assistant Professor Dr. Yolanda Rankin and her team received the Best Paper Award in the Analytics track for the 2021 IEEE International Conference on Healthcare Informatics (ICHI 2021).

The paper titled, “Implementing community-based participatory design and mixed methods to
capture and analyze mental models of no/low literate users” is a joint research effort with Auburn University Associate Professor Dr. Jakita Thomas and Ph.D. student Akolade Asipade.

The paper explores the maternal challenges that Haitian women face with mortality and healthcare and addresses these issues with an informative mobile application prototype called MTOTO-BEBE (MTOTO is Swahili for “baby” and BEBE is Haitian Creole for “baby”).

Dr. Rankin was responsible for the co-design method of the application in which visual images are used to identify categories of information that were of interest to Hattian women when talking about maternal care.

“This work demonstrates the need to apply inclusive design techniques in which go beyond what we traditionally think of as user-centered design research,” said Dr. Rankin. “For example, as designers situated in the Western hemisphere, we tend to ignore or dismiss the socio-cultural norms and nuances of the people who are not Americans, especially when those norms represent a non-dominant social group. In this research, we intentionally position the marginalized population of Haitian women as experts of their lived experiences, co-designing this mobile application based on their preferences and information needs (e.g., chronologically ordered information, images that reflect Haitian culture, etc.).”

The Best Paper Award was announced during the ICHI 2021’s welcoming note in August of 2021. ICHI is a premier community forum concerned with the application of computer science, information science, data science, and informatics principles, as well as information technology, and communication science and technology to address problems and support research in healthcare, medicine, life science, public health, and everyday wellness.

To read more about Dr. Rankin’s research, click here.