Technology Salon

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a discussion at the intersection of technology and development

ICT tools

Posts Tagged ‘ICT tools’

  • Text messaging is a quick and targeted way to reach beneficiaries in the developing world. But you already know that. Yet have you seen an SMS router close-up? Experimented with proven solutions that you can use in your existing programs? Or brainstormed on how SMS could add sizzle to your next proposal?

  • Competitive private companies know that just adopting the tools of ICT will not magically lead to productivity gains – it takes much change and investments in business processes to really reap the rewards that ICT can bring. But this basic tenant can be lost in the hype around specific devices or technologies.

  • As I listened to Mike McKay, former country director of the Baobab Health Partnership, speak about how his organization is improving patient care with ICT in Malawi, I was struck by four key themes in Baobab’s solution:

    Mike McKay
    Mike McKay of Baobab Health
    1. Start with Patient Data
    2. Keep Technology Easy to Use & Modify
    3. Always Build Local Capacity
    4. Project Poverty is an Advantage

    Now neither Mike, nor Baobab’s founder, Gerry Douglas, made all these points explicitly, but they are the takeaways we can learn the most from.
    Start with Patient Data
    Knowing a patient’s past medical history is critical to continuity of care, particularly for patients with chronic illness. Do you know if the patient in front of you has tuberculosis? Or HIV? Or both plus malaria? Or is on any other medications or has any peculiarities you should know about them before you diagnose or treat their current ailment? If you had their medical records, you may.

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  • In this month’s Technology Salon, National Health Information Systems: Who Uses What, Where?, we discussed a recently-completed study by Vital Wave Consulting that surveyed the global landscape of national HIS ecosystems in the developing world. The overall outcome may surprise development practitioners, but its well known to IT experts: basic change management matters more than fancy technology.

  • It often seems that there are as many health information systems (HIS) as there are governments – from custom legacy systems to new web-based applications. But which governments are using a HIS, what system do they employ, how has it helped them, and and what can we all learn from their experiences?

    health information systems
    Health information system in practice

    For the next Technology Salon, we’ll focus on a recently-completed study by Vital Wave Consulting that focused on the global landscape of national HIS Ecosystems in the developing world. This study was sponsored by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to:

    1. analyze the developing-country landscape of national HIS ecosystems
    2. review prominent individual examples of HIS implementations
    3. identify critical success factors for projects to strengthen health systems

    We’ll have Brendan Smith of Vital Wave Consulting lead us through the report highlights, India case study, and an accompanying online HIS forum with an engaged discussion around the various HIS fulled by by hot coffee and Krispe Kreme donuts sugar rush.

    National Health Information Systems: Who Uses What, Where?
    June Technology Salon
    Friday, June 26, 8:30-10am
    UN Foundation Conference Room
    1800 Mass Avenue, NW, Suite 400
    Washington, D.C. 20036 (map)

    Do note that this Salon is on Friday morning, instead of Thursday, seating is limited and the UN Foundation is in a secure building. So the first fifteen (15) to RSVP will be confirmed attendance and then there will be a waitlist.