Considerations for an Access-Centered Design of the Fever Thermometer in Low-Resource Settings: A Literature Review

Rikako Iwamoto, Ana Rodrigues Santos, Niels Chavannes, Ria Reis, Jan-Carel Diehl

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

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Background: The lack of adequate information about fever in low-resource settings, its unreliable self-assessment, and poor diagnostic practices may result in delayed care and under-or-overdiagnosis of diseases such as malaria. The mismatches of existing fever thermometers in the context of use imply that the diagnostic tools and connected services need to be studied further to address the challenges of fever-related illnesses and their diagnostics.
Objective: This study aims to inform a product-service system approach to design a reliable and accessible fever thermometer and connected services, as well as contribute to the identification of innovative opportunities to improve health care in low-resource settings.
Methods: To determine what factors impede febrile people seeking health care to access adequate fever diagnostics, a literature search was conducted in Google Scholar and PubMed with relevant keywords. Next, these factors were combined with a patient journey model to design a new product-service system for fever diagnostics in low-resource settings.
Results: In total, 37 articles were reviewed. The five As framework was used to categorize the identified barriers. The results indicate that there is a poor distribution of reliable fever diagnostic practices among remote communities. This paper speaks to the global public health and design communities. Three complementary considerations are discussed that support the idea of a more holistic approach to the design of fever diagnostics: (1) understanding of the fever diagnostics patient journey, (2) identifying user groups of the thermometers in a specific health care system, and (3) assessing different needs and interests of the different users.
Conclusions: Access to basic, primary health care may be enhanced with better information and technology design made through the involvement of system users.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-14
Number of pages14
JournalJMIR Human Factors
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 15 Jan 2017


  • fever diagnostics
  • sub-Saharan Africa
  • low-resource setting
  • thermometer
  • Design
  • patient journey
  • Product Service Systems


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