eLearning in Medical Education
The University of Botswana School of Medicine (UBSoM) and the mobile communication service provider Orange Botswana, launched a collaborative initiative to provide academic staff, students, and medical specialist trainees (residents) with anytime-anywhere, access to clinical and learning resources, as well as communication tools through the use of tablet computers.
Through the m-learning initiative, students, residents and academic staff receive tablets loaded with a robust collection of medical applications, research databases and various Botswana healthcare guidelines and protocols. The data package allows users to access resources away from Wi-Fi areas, while the Closed User Group (CUG) enables them to call each other at no extra cost. The project is funded through the Medical Education Partnership Initiative (MEPI) grant from the US government and the President Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR).
Access to readily available information is an important part of being a medical student and practicing physician. Wireless access provided by Orange Botswana complements the existing university infrastructure to provide seamless access to learning, teaching, and clinical resources. With four clinical sites dispersed across Botswana, they needed a solution that would enable their students and doctors to access information anytime and anywhere.
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In 2015 emocha launched a system in South Africa to link thousands of patients afflicted with multi-drug resistant tuberculosis (MDR-TB) to specialized clinics for care. Tuberculosis is the leading cause of death in South Africa and close to 16,000 people are diagnosed with a more deadly drug resistant strain of the virus every year. Of these, half do not return to the clinic for care after diagnosis. To bridge this gap, emocha interfaced with the National Health Lab Service (NHLS) and engineered three mobile applications that work in harmony to identify patients and coordinate care from diagnosis through initiation of treatment.
The project is part of a multi-sector effort to stop tuberculosis and was developed in collaboration with the Government of South Africa and the Johns Hopkins School of Nursing.
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Epilepsy Care Service
80% of epilepsy victims have no access to medication due to stigma from the society in Kenya that believes that the affected are either bewitched or cursed. Medically, epilepsy is a disorder of the brain’s electrical system where abnormal electrical impulses cause brief changes in movement, behavior, sensation or awareness. Seizures may last from a few seconds to a few minutes, those who have had two or more seizures are considered to have epilepsy.
The condition can be caused by low oxygen during birth, head injuries that occur during birth or from accidents during youth or adulthood or brain infection.
A new mHealth service, Epilepsy Care Service, has been launched in Kenya that allows the public to access information on epilepsy using their mobile phones. The service enables patients, caregivers and health workers to get data related to the disease by registering using a Safaricom line, at no cost.
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The EuroAfrica-ICT initiative conducted in 2010-2011 a two-phase study into researchable priorities in ICT between Europe and Africa, with the objective of evaluating, together with European and African ICT research communities and key stakeholders in the field, what projects can be launched in the short term (in the next five years), what recommendations and actions can be developed for the identified ICT research priorities and how EU-Africa cooperation on ICT R&D can best address such priorities. It also aimed to identify region specific cooperation barriers, technology gaps, needs and opportunities that could be addressed by EU-Africa research cooperation, which could lead to significant advances in bridging the digital divide.
In the next phase of the EuroAfrica-ICT initiative, started in January 2012 with the EuroAfrica-P8 project, the identification and analysis of joint ICT research priorities was based on the information produced previously and extended by the EuroAfrica-P8 Partnership.
Project outcomes:Review of literature on ICT research and innovation as well as European and African interests for socio-economic growth and development, and the Millennium Development Goals, in order to challenges and opportunities leading to prioritisation of ICT research focus areas. Selection of 6 Focus Areas relevant to the European and African research/innovation/policy communities with the potential for mutually beneficially, collaborative research and innovation in ICT.
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Figure 1 is an instagram innitaitive that allows doctors and medical staff to share photos of challenging cases and get second opinions from the whole spectrum of medicine.
Figure1’s creator, Dr Joshua Landy, a critical care specialist in Toronto, announced that it’s about to provide a paging facility for doctors to enable instant, selected connections. It’s part of Figure 1’s philosophy of connecting doctors to create a digital global teaching hospital.
At the start of 2015, there was over 150,000 doctors using Figure 1 and is now available in almost 100 countries. It has a priority for patient privacy. Patients give their formal consent before their images are shared. Every image is checked manually to ensure compliance with Figure 1’s policies, and an automatic face blocker obscures patient’s faces on the pictures. It’s available to anyone, though only healthcare professionals are able to add comments and images.
Figure 1 is a free download on the App Store and on the Google Play™ Store.
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Find A Med
Find-A-Med is a location-based app that helps users find the nearest health centres around them, while also storing and keeping track of their basic health information in case of an emergency. Its currently available in Nigeria.
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Health care professionals confront many complex questions about HIV treatment and care. In Ethiopia, limited resources, inadequate communication infrastructure, and a lack of continuing education opportunities often prevent health care professionals from staying up-to-date on the latest information about HIV/AIDS.
The FITUN Warmline is a new toll-free telephone information service devoted to answering questions from health care professionals about HIV/AIDS care and treatment. Health care professionals across Ethiopia can use the FITUN Warmline to get quick, accurate, and up-to-date answers to their questions with a single call.
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Future eHealth Leaders (FeHL)
Future eHealth Leaders (FeHL) summer camps help shape tomorrow’s eHealth leaders by cultivating their transformative view of eHealth and leadership and their role in improving healthcare. The change is driven by participants’ exposure to one another.
FeHL summer camps are an initiative of the African Centre for eHealth Excellence (Acfee).
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Created in 2000, Gavi is an international organisation that was created to improve access to new and underused vaccines for children living in the world’s poorest countries. Based in Geneva, Switzerland, Gavi is the Vaccine Alliance, which brings together public and private sectors with the shared goal of creating equal access to vaccines for children, wherever they live.
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GeneXpert Support App
Making a correct diagnosis of Tuberculosis is a key component in the fight against TB. GeneXpert is an effective new rapid TB diagnostic test, promoted for use by the WHO (World Health Organization) across the world. One of problems health workers face in using GeneXpert, is determining when to use the test, when alternative screening is recommended, and when not to use it. Additionally, the correct interpretation of GeneXpert results by health workers, and making appropriate treatment decisions can be problematic.
The Open Medicine Project, in collaboration with the Foundation for Innovative New Diagnostics, FIND, have developed the GeneXpert support application for TB Diagnostic support. The smartphone app is a series of simple, and easy-to-use decision support pathways around GenexPert, as well as a general information tool for GeneXpert testing. The App can be used by nurses and doctors to make decision in clinics and hospitals, or as an effective training tool.
The app is avilable on Google Play.
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