Assessing How Medical Technologies May Improve Maternal and Neonatal Health

Assessing How Medical Technologies May Improve Maternal and Neonatal Health
Doris Rouse and Beth McClure developed MANDATE to help improve maternal health

A web-based tool that may help improve maternal health has been developed by a team led by Doris Rouse, PhD, and Beth McClure at RTI.

The tool, called MANDATE (Maternal and Neonatal Directed Assessment of Technology), objectively assesses the impact of new medical technologies on maternal, fetal, and neonatal mortality, particularly in low-resource settings, where more than 98 percent of global maternal and neonatal deaths occur. MANDATE was developed with funding from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

By calculating the potential number of maternal and neonatal lives saved, the tool allows users to identify and compare the potential impact of a technology. Users may adjust variables related to a technology's availability, appropriate use, and efficacy to determine how a technology might be improved to have the greatest impact.

Once the variables are set by the user, MANDATE can determine the technology's potential impact by patient category, medical condition, and health care settings in Sub-Saharan Africa and East Asia, the regions with the highest mortality.

Rouse, McClure, and their team initiated the project in 2009 and made the tool available for public use on the MANDATE website (mnhtech.org) free of charge in November 2011, with additions being made through 2012.

MANDATE can also be used to define the characteristics that a new technology would need to achieve the highest efficacy and coverage in various areas and to estimate the potential benefit in lives saved of any new device under development.

RTI plans to further evolve MANDATE to provide an enhanced user interface, expanded conditions, and additional insights as to the key factors for optimizing technologies in different health care settings.