CLEAR Research Highlights: Effective digital health platforms for sexual and reproductive health services

The BRAC James P. Grant School of Public Health at BRAC University, led by Professor Farzana Misha, conducted this research to examine the use of digital platforms for sexual and reproductive health. The study focused on Bangladesh, where there was heightened utilisation of these services during the Covid-19 pandemic. After the pandemic, there was a drop in use but a large population of young adults and adolescents continue to rely on these digital health platforms.

Employing a mixed-method approach, the research conducted a digital ethnography, examining social media platforms like Facebook, TikTok, and YouTube channels, as well as digital health apps, to understand the dynamics between users and service providers.  The study revealed a prevailing apprehension about data privacy when accessing digital platforms for sexual health. It also highlighted concerns around accessibility and the exclusion of gender minorities. 

Furthermore, the research identified a lack of awareness regarding digital privacy and data security among healthcare providers. It called for policy changes to enhance the user-friendliness and inclusivity of digital health services, particularly for marginalized communities and groups. 

  • Healthcare providers need training to increase their digital proficiency and skills in communicating sensitive issues such as SRHR, especially with marginalized groups like LGBTQ. 
  • Digital interfaces need to be multilingual to ensure accessibility for all communities. 
  • Privacy and security measures for health data should be strengthened, particularly for sensitive topics such as SRHR, to address heightened identity concerns, especially for gender-diverse individuals. 
  • A government accreditation system and a list of accredited digital health service providers should be established. 

This short film, based on the findings from the research, charts the evolution of digital health services in Bangladesh and documents different users experiences and concerns over the use of digital services and online platforms for accessing healthcare and advice.


For more about the findings of this research the project team have produced this useful policy briefing and infographic.

Maliha Mehnaz Mitu, Sabiha M Khan, Mahmodul Hasan Shesheir, Md. Tanzirul Alam, Farzana Misha (2023) Driving Innovation: Advancing Healthcare through Digital Transformations in Bangladesh. Policy Briefing: BRAC James P Grant School of Public Health

Maliha Mehnaz Mitu, Sabiha M khan, Mahmodul Hasan Shesheir, Md. Tanzirul Alam, Dr Farzana Misha (2023) Effective Digital Health Platform for Sexual and Reproductive Health & Rights (SRHR) Services: A Mixed-methods Approach to Understanding User Experiences, Needs, and Rights in Bangladesh. Infographic: BRAC James P Grant School of Public Health