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ShareMy.Health uses Ditto to support vital child nutrition programs in developing nations

Thanks to Ditto’s offline data sync in internet dead zones, parents and healthcare workers are kept in the loop about children’s malnutrition risks

A dropped connection might mean you don’t get your latte because a coffee shop can’t process your order. But when using smartphones to transform child nutrition in developing countries, a sudden loss of the internet could be a matter of life and death. Over 3 million children will die this year from malnutrition, making it the leading cause of death of children under the age of five.

The Ditto Edge Sync Platform enables apps to synchronize data in real-time even without internet connectivity, and is helping the humanitarian arm of digital health firm ShareMy.Health deliver health workflow solutions to non-profits fighting child malnutrition in Africa, Asia, and worldwide.

ShareMy.Health’s digital health platform empowers non-profits, families, and governments to work together to end malnutrition. Adults use smartphones for nutrition screening, intervention, and monitoring to enable health professionals to respond immediately with the proper support. Since the first 1,000 days of a child’s life are critical to avoid irreversible brain damage and stunting, timely communication saves lives.

However, most nutrition screening occurs in areas where connectivity is intermittent or unavailable, forcing community health workers to rely on paper or spreadsheets that are difficult to access and share and risk non-compliance with privacy laws.

ShareMy.Health realized it needed secure data synchronization within its application. Ditto provided its highly resilient offline data synchronization connectivity solution, enabling device-to-device data sharing even when internet access is spotty or non-existent.

Using the Ditto software developer kit (SDK), ShareMy.Health built a mobile app for child malnutrition screening in the field that can communicate while offline with nearby devices, sharing data without latency or security issues. Now the moment a child’s screening data is recorded in the app, action can be taken immediately across all nearby devices.

The Ditto SDK allows devices to directly communicate with peer-to-peer data synchronization even when an internet connection isn’t available. For the ShareMy.Health app, Ditto technology automatically manages the complexity of using multiple network transports, such as Bluetooth, P2P Wi-Fi, and Local Area Networks, to find and connect to other devices and then synchronize all changes made to the medical record.

Other apps might work offline on one device. But like composing emails offline, users wait hours to finally transmit the information, fail to cooperate with other users, and risk losing all their work. With Ditto, hundreds of ShareMy.Health users can collaborate in near real-time while the data is constantly synchronized between devices. Only one device must connect to the internet for everything to be safely stored in the cloud.

“We’re thrilled that Ditto enables us to reach all children, everywhere, regardless of challenging internet conditions,” said Galen Murdock, CEO ShareMy.Health. “Timely communication saves lives. That’s why offline data synchronization is vital to our commitment to ‘care better.’ Since Ditto utilizes all radio signals to synchronize data, it is delightfully difficult to break connectivity.”

ShareMy.Health has rolled out Ditto to fight child malnutrition in Ghana, Sierra Leone, Liberia, and Nigeria and is expanding to other African countries, the Philippines, and Latin America.

Murdock said the impact on children and their communities cannot be overstated. “We’ve worked in communities where it might take as long as three months to provide life-saving feedback to parents due to technical and logistical challenges. ShareMy.Health has changed all that – now we can get back to parents and health workers in just seconds thanks to the brilliant engineering within Ditto.”

Max Alexander, Ditto’s co-founder, said: “This is about solving a data synchronizationchallenge to improve and potentially even save young lives. We’re humbled that ShareMy.Health is utilizing our technology to keep vital lines of communication open to support the fight against child malnutrition. It is a major test case of how Ditto’s daisy chaining and offline data synchronization delivers resilience and high performance in difficult conditions.”

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