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Personal and Ubiquitous Computing
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Healthcare facility is scarce for rural women in the developing world. The situation is worse for patients who are suffering from diseases that require long-term feedback-oriented monitoring such as breast cancer. Lack of motivation to go to the health centers on patients’ side due to sociocultural barriers, financial restrictions and transportation hazards results in inadequate data for proper assessment. Fortunately, mobile phones have penetrated the masses even in rural communities of the developing countries. In this scenario, a mobile phone-based remote symptom monitoring system (RSMS) with inspirational videos can serve the purpose of both patients and doctors. Here, we present the findings of our field study conducted on 39 breast cancer patients in rural Bangladesh. Based on the results of extensive field studies, we have categorized the challenges faced by patients in different phases of the treatment process. As a solution, we have designed, developed and deployed e-ESAS—the first mobile-based RSMS in rural context. Along with the detail need assessment of such a system, we describe the evolution of e-ESAS and the deployment results. We have included the unique and useful design lessons that we learned as e-ESAS evolved through participatory design process. The findings show how e-ESAS addresses several challenges faced by patients and doctors and positively impact their lives.