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Sep 30, 2019

A new global initiative aims to use AI to improve public health in the developing world

It’s challenging enough to develop artificial intelligence models using health data generated at the world’s most elite academic medical centers. Now, a group of humanitarian organizations is taking on an even steeper challenge: using data collected in developing countries to improve public health overseas.

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Sep 25, 2019

Examining inequality: How geography and gender stack the deck for (or against) you

We were born in a wealthy country to white, well-off parents who lived in thriving communities and were able to send us to excellent schools. These factors, among many others, put us in a great position to be successful. There are billions of people on the other side of these dividing lines, however. For hundreds of millions of people around the world, hardship is all but guaranteed.

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Sep 16, 2019

Artificial Intelligence in Africa’s healthcare: Ethical considerations

Artificial intelligence (AI) can improve various aspects of healthcare. It can help reduce annual expenditure, allow early detection of diseases, provide round-the-clock monitoring for chronic disorders, and help limit the exposure of healthcare professionals in contagious environments. The use of AI in healthcare systems in Africa, in particular, can eliminate inefficiencies such as misdiagnosis, shortage in healthcare workers, and wait and recovery time. However, it is important to safeguard against issues such as privacy breaches, or lack of personalised care and accessibility.

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Sep 13, 2019

Bridging the digital divide in health care

The global reach of mobile phones has all the hallmarks of a success story. For many in developing countries, it’s often the only way to connect to the internet and access valuable knowledge, resources, and trade opportunities that would otherwise be out of reach. But alongside this empowering potential lies a troubling reality. Just under half the world’s population is still cut off from the internet. This statistic was highlighted in SDG Pulse, the first edition of an annual report on progress towards the sustainable development goals (SDGs), which was launched on June 25 by the UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD).

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Aug 19, 2019

Could the world see a resurgence of polio? Experts fear a cautionary tale in measles

As measles case counts have exploded around the globe this year, public health officials doggedly trying to rid the world of another disease scourge have watched the numbers rise with some concern. That disease is polio, and for the people who have long worked to eradicate it, the resurgence of measles has become a cautionary tale — both useful and unsettling — of why the polio campaign must push on across the finish line. Failure to do so could have dire consequences.

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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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