New release: SmartVA 2.0

An improved version of SmartVA Analyze (including full source code) has been released

Improvements to SmartVA’s questionnaire, algorithm, software and usability will greatly enhance prediction accuracy, integration of VA information into existing CRVS systems, and allow for greater sensitivity and empathy while conducting VA interviews

What is SmartVA Analyze?

  • Automated verbal autopsy (VA) software greatly reduces the amount of time and potential errors of paper-based approaches.
  • Uses tablets or smartphones to automatically analyse VA data and generate a probable cause of death using the Tariff algorithm.
  • Uses SmartVA (or PHMRC) short-form VA questionnaire that has been proven to halve the time required for the administration of VA interviews, for use in routine civil registration and vital statistics (CRVS) systems. WHO 2016 questionnaire also available.
  • Tested across more than 10 countries as part of the Bloomberg Philanthropies Data for Health initiative (D4H). Some countries outside D4H have also tested this questionnaire as a means to generate valid population level cause of death information in cases where a medically certified cause of death has not been possible. 

SmartVA 2.0: What’s new?

General module

  •  Improved usability: Improved instructions. Pre-defined location fields and calendars (replacing manual input of dates) to avoid input errors, national ID numbers, and other information, that are typically needed for country registration systems. Countries can further adapt with care to fulfill their specific requirements.
  • Improved relevance: Improved questionnaire skip patterns (for instance, a woman over 60 years of age will never be asked questions related to pregnancy) and question hints. Other improvements include the inability to allocate a stillbirth in cases where the neonate was more than 0 days old.

SmartVA Analyze algorithm

  • Updated algorithm now includes support for the WHO 2016 instrument, with an improved graphical user interface, faster computation, more informative warnings messages, and minor bug fixes. 
  • For the first time, the full source code of the SmartVA algorithm has been released, which will enhance transparency of the algorithm, improve user understanding and lead to suggested improvements and contributions from users.
  • Enhanced outputs: Better interpretation of the Tariff results and addition of many automated options. Data now provided in tables to allow countries to compile their own charts according to their own requirements, in addition to automatically generated graphs.

Useful links

Download the software/full website:

View the code:

Comprehensive user guides

View short user guides and tutorial videos

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