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What is multimedia in CommCare?

CommCare supports the use of multimedia files in an application. The term “multimedia” refers to a variety of different communicative data formats, e.g. images, audio recordings, or videos. Multimedia can change the way in which the end-user engages with the CommCare application. It can enhance the level of interactivity between user and application. It also supports end-users when application training is limited. 

What value does multimedia offer in CommCare?

Humans process visual and verbal information easier than written information. This is especially true in low literacy communities. The ability to make use of multimedia in CommCare ensures that vital information is made easily available to the end-users. Using a video or audio recording can help convey an important message with stronger accentuation than simply written text. While the textual content is important, multimedia can enhance the user’s experience with CommCare. 

How do you use multimedia in CommCare?

Incorporating Multimedia files

The CommCare application builders can incorporate multimedia files into the CommCare application. This will enable end-users to effectively communicate important information during their use of the application.

Use case

Hope is a community health worker in a rural area in South Africa. Hope visits a village to track the health of pregnant women. The nearest medical clinic is 50km away. Hope provides these women with the necessary care and information they need in order to stay healthy during their pregnancies. 

The clinic is using CommCare to help Hope with her duties. One of the pregnant women in the village, Jolene, is presenting with high blood pressure. Jolene is reluctant to go to the clinic because it is far away and she doesn’t think it is necessary. Luckily, one of the doctors at the clinic recorded an audio clip that was loaded into the CommCare application. The audio clip explains the risks involved when a pregnant woman has high blood pressure. It also explains that it can be an indicator of a serious underlying condition and requires a medical examination. Hope can play this audio clip to Jolene. This will give both Hope and Jolene a better understanding of the situation and will encourage Jolene to go to the nearest clinic for further examination. 

Below is an example of incorporating multimedia into a CommCare application.


Capturing Multimedia files

The CommCare application builders can enable the multimedia capture functionality in the CommCare application. This will help end-users to record important information or evidence during their use of the application.

Use case

During one of her visits, Hope notices that a pregnant woman named Thandi has a rash on her left torso. Hope knows that rashes can be common during pregnancy, but she feels the need to monitor the rash. Her CommCare application was designed with this example in mind and the multimedia capture functionality was included in the application. One of the questions gives Hope the ability to take a photo of the rash. The photo will help with monitoring the rash. Hope can also consult with one of the doctors at the clinic to determine what treatment to give Thandi, and whether to refer Thandi to the clinic for further examination. 

Using multimedia in this way can help Hope to gather important information and evidence in order to monitor a patient’s health and in doing so, keeping them healthy. 

Below is an example of capturing multimedia in a CommCare application.


IMPORTANT NOTE: Mobile users can’t see pictures on their mobile phones after taking them. Pictures are sent to CommCare HQ and can be accessed there. The doctors will be able to monitor the rash by viewing the pictures in CommCare HQ.

What type of multimedia files does CommCare support?

CommCare can support a variety of media types depending upon your phone. We recommend using the following:

Media Category

Recommended File Type

Detailed Resources







See useful links below about multimedia for application builders:

See useful links below about multimedia for end-users:


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