Meet the five laureates of the 2019 Global South eHealth Observatory
On July 1, at the annual conference of the Global South eHealth Observatory, the Fondation Pierre Fabre presented the five 2019 awards, which this year go to projects in Burkina Faso, Tanzania, India and Mongolia.
Awarded each year at the Global South eHealth Observatory Conference, the Observatory’s awards recognize the most promising initiatives in the field of digital health in low- and middle-income countries. Their objectives are to raise the profile and support the development of projects that have significant potential to reduce inequalities in access to care.
Promoting access to care for the most disavantaged population
The widespread availability of digital technologies represents an opportunity for progress by removing geographical and financial barriers to accessing health services. The Observatory has therefore set itself the objective of contributing to the development of the most relevant projects and encouraging the reinforcement of skills and the sharing of information around e-health actions and policies.
“The 2019 event benefited from a wealth of discussions on data sharing and skills reinforcement, two major challenges in the transformation of health strategies for efficient and sustainable e-health. Everyone’s involvement is essential so that the health pyramid, which is currently being rolled out in the Global South, is reliable and of a high quality. Reinforcing skills, through training and involving everybody, is vital in the development of e-health. The five winning projects perfectly illustrate these two focuses,” explains Béatrice Garrette, Director General of the Fondation Pierre Fabre.
Each year, significant identification work carried out locally and remotely, combined with a call for applications, enables project coordinators using ICT to improve access to health to submit their initiative at www.odess.io. Once applications have been processed, the Observatory’s panel of experts votes for the most promising initiatives. Five winning initiatives will be rolled out in four countries: Burkina Faso, Mongolia, India and Tanzania. The winners benefit from technical and financial support for a year, with funding of €100,000 in total to support their development.
The five 2019 laureates of the Observatory:
mHealth – An initiative by the Burkinabe Ministry of Health, mHealth is an SMS and Android platform developed to enable health workers to report health information from rural areas in the north of the country to local and national authorities. The program aims to strengthen the national information system and facilitate decision-making by health authorities.
leDA – The Integrated e-Diagnostic Approach (IeDA) initiative guides and supports community health workers in consultations with children under five, enabling them to follow the protocol for Integrated Management of Childhood Illness (IMCI). IeDA has been integrated into Burkina Faso’s health information system to centralize real-time information on health workers’ performance and the health data collected. Established by the NGO Terre des Hommes, the initiative was assessed by the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine and the Muraz Center.
Smartphone Tele-Dermatology Service – A remote dermatology examination program, this initiative targets populations living in rural and remote areas of Mongolia. Equipped with a smartphone and the DERMA app, village doctors are guided in their consultations to send relevant information and photographs of skin conditions to a secure platform accessible to the country’s dermatologists. They then refer their diagnoses and recommendations to the family doctors to improve patient care. Supported by the Mongolian National University of Medical Sciences, the system offers real scientific benefits to medical training, since the cases are used for specialization in dermatology.
Khushi Baby – Khushi Baby aims to solve the difficulties of vaccinating young children, collecting data and raising awareness. A pendant fitted with an NFC chip is given to patients to store health information. This information is available to health workers via a mobile app and to health authorities via a dashboard. The pendants are waterproof, do not require a battery and cost less than a dollar to produce. The device is totally adapted to the local context since the black thread used is similar to that used for the necklaces already worn by babies of this region of India to ward off the evil eye. Following a year’s support from the Observatory, Khushi Baby applied for continued support to expand the project.
Promoting Proper Management of Zoonotic Diseases – The AfyaData initiative, which is based on the One Health concept, is an application for the management of epidemics linked to animals. Based on documented symptoms, GPS coordinates and photographs submitted, health professionals, owners of livestock, veterinarians and rangers from national parks are sent information about suspected diseases and procedures to follow. This operational research project provides genuine support for epidemic management, including all local players and decision-makers.
The Observatory’s partner institutions are: the Agence Française de Développement (AFD), the Agence Universitaire de la Francophonie, the Fondation de l’Avenir and the Asia eHeath Information Network (AeHIN).
The entire conference will be available on video in the coming weeks.
Since its creation in 2016, 29 initiatives have been supported by the Fondation Pierre Fabre Observatory and its database contains details of nearly 150 e-health projects.
Access the database and the winning projects at www.odess.io