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Aug 12, 2019

Digital health and the Ebola epidemic: How not to let it go viral

More than 1,500 deaths and 2,500 people sickened – that’s the recent account of the ebola outbreak in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) raging in the country since last August, and recently declared a public health emergency of international concern. Experts say efforts to contain the virus are hindered by biological, public health, political, and cultural issues, but we looked around what digital health technologies could do to mitigate the spread and the devastation of the infectious disease.

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Aug 9, 2019

Electronic immunization registries in Tanzania and Zambia: Shaping a minimum viable product for scaled solutions

As part of the work the BID Initiative undertook starting in 2013 to improve countries’ collection, quality, and use of immunization data, PATH partnered with countries to identify the critical requirements for an electronic immunization registry (EIR). An EIR became the core intervention to address the data challenges that countries faced but also presented complexities during the development process to ensure that it met the core needs of the users. The work began with collecting common system requirements from ten sub-Saharan African countries; these requirements represented the countries’ vision of an ideal system to track individual child vaccination schedules and elements of supply chain. Through iterative development processes in both Tanzania and Zambia, the common requirements were modified and adapted to better fit the country contexts and users’ needs, as well as to be developed with the technology available at the time.

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Jul 30, 2019

From fragile to resilient health systems: A journey to self-reliance

Preventable disease, emerging infectious disease, extreme weather-related disasters due to urbanization and environmental degradation, and complications of pregnancy and childbirth still claim far too many lives and challenge the ability of health systems to cope. Meanwhile, shrinking investments, flat country health budgets, population pressures, and complex emergencies challenge the global ability to achieve the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals.

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Jul 22, 2019

The rise of digital health and its potential to push progress on UHC

With only a decade remaining to meet the target of universal health coverage, many actors in the global health community are looking to the adoption of new digital solutions to longstanding problems of efficiency, information sharing, and access.

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Jul 13, 2019

Sharing data can help prevent public health emergencies in Africa

Global collaboration and sharing data on public health emergencies is important to fight the spread of infectious diseases. If scientists and health workers can openly share their data across regions and organisations, countries can be better prepared and respond faster to disease outbreaks.

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Jul 8, 2019

How digital health solutions can reduce non-communicable diseases

Worldwide, non-communicable diseases (NCDs) are responsible for approximately 70% of deaths, of which 75% occur in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs). Yet funding for tackling NCDs is low compared to other diseases, and governments are struggling to respond to this massive health threat. In a new report on the promise of digital health to address NCDs, The Broadband Commission Working Group on Digital Health calls digital health a catalyst in transforming healthcare from disease silos to an integrated, resilient health system.

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Jul 5, 2019

A digital path to health for all

Global leaders at the recent annual gathering of the World Health Assembly in Geneva expressed worry and optimism in almost equal measure. Delegates at the Assembly – the decision-making body of the World Health Organization – likened the scope of the world’s health crisis to that of the threat posed by climate change. They also agree, however, that digital technology and data will play a crucial role in accelerating efforts to achieve health for all.

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Jul 1, 2019

We need a digital revolution in global public health

We are living in a moment of unprecedented attention to expanding access to essential health care. That has been evident in Geneva this week, where leaders from government, civil society, and the private sector are meeting to set global health priorities. They reaffirmed their resolve to reach 1 billion more people with health coverage in the next five years, an interim step toward achieving universal health coverage by 2030. It’s a remarkable shift; UHC was once considered a distraction countries were best advised to avoid, but today it is an overarching goal of the United Nations.

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Jul 1, 2019

2019 OpenHIE Community Meeting announced in Ethiopia

On behalf of the entire OpenHIE community, we are excited to announce the 2nd OpenHIE Community Meeting focused on improving the use of data, which will be held November 4-8 at the Hyatt Regency in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. Concurrent with this event will be an OpenHIE Academy, that will provide training and lessons learned to help guide design and implementation of health information architectures, standards and exchanges. Stay tuned for more details about the agenda and how to book your hotel room.

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Jun 7, 2019

What role should donors play in helping drones for delivery take flight?

Unmanned aerial vehicles are carrying blood and other lifesaving medical supplies over Rwanda’s hilly landscape. These fixed-wing aircraft are engineered by Zipline, a company based in California, which recently expanded from Rwanda to Ghana.

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