HELINA subscribes in full with the IMIA vision which is that there will be a world-wide systems approach for healthcare.
Clinicians, researchers, patients and people in general will be supported by informatics tools, processes and behaviours that make it easy to do the right thing, in the right way, at the right time to improve healthcare for all. This systems approach will incorporate and integrate research, clinical care and public health.
To achieve this vision it will require everyone being supported by informatics-based information and communication systems and technologies.
HELINA is a young region created in 1993 and has at present the objective:
to get African countries to develop their National Health Informatics Societies so that they can qualify to join the World of Health Informatics by becoming a member of IMIA. This step will make them automatic members of HELINA.to develop education and research programs adapted to the African context, fostering alliance with government and the private sector, and to develop a strategic plan for the sustainable development of Health Informatics and e-health in Africa.
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Hello Doctor interactive platforms are designed to give instant access to personalised health, wellness and medical information, reviewed and approved by a team of doctors. The initiative is run out of South Africa.
Hello Doctor is a subsidiary of Metropolitan Health within MMI Holdings. Hello Doctor has partnered with MTN to deliver mobile health services to MTN's territories across Africa.
The rollout started in South Africa.
It will extend to Swaziland, Zambia, Ghana, Uganda, Cameroon and Rwanda.
eHNA has more details.
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Her Health BVKit
Her Health BVKit consists of hardware that connects to a smartphone app via Bluetooth. It's developed by Team Code Gurus. A YouTube video explains how they created it. It’s remarkably simple, based on knowing that healthy vaginal bacteria exist in a specific pH environment. When that environment is upset, less healthy bacteria can thrive, causing uncomfortable symptoms including pain, itching, unusual discharge and unpleasant odour.
The kit tests the pH of a sample of urine or vaginal discharge and sends the value to the app. The app interprets whether the sample implies healthy or unhealthy amounts of vaginal bacteria. If there are unhealthy levels of bacteria present, the application recommends that the user seeks medical attention and indicates where the nearest doctor or clinic is.
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In South Africa today, the mortality rate of children under five years is on the increase, adolescent pregnancy is unacceptably high, and the majority of people living with HIV in South Africa is female.
HIVSA believes that providing easy access to relevant, updated public health information will have a positive impact on these issues. Through the support of the Elton John Aids Foundation, HIVSA has developed an innovative cellphone service called hi4LIFE that allows South African women and their partners to access relevant, up-to-date health information on HIV, pregnancy and baby health.
The service is available anytime, anywhere - it can be accessed through SMS, USSD, Mobile web sites and Mxit.
HIVSA’s strategic partners in this initiative are the Department of Health and Social Development Gauteng, the Anova Health Institute.
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HIV Clinical Guide App
HIV remains one of the most important health challenges of our time. Informed clinical decision making in HIV care is a vital part of the fight against this epidemic. The management of HIV is a comprehensive subject covering many aspects from testing, to starting therapy, to monitoring patients and referring them to appropriate centres. Doctors often see many different patients in a day, and when confronted with an HIV patient, they need quick access to complex information and diagnostic support tools.
In Partnership with Metropolitan Health, HIV YourLife Programme, TOMPSA developed the HIV Clinical Guide. The HIV Clinical Guide is a ‘on the go’ HIV support tool for phones and tablets. It contains regularly updated guidelines from the HIV Clinicians Society of Southern Africa, as well as novel clinical calculator tools, such as an Antiretroviral Drug Intreraction checker, to make HIV very efficient. The HIV Guidance App currently being used in 59 countries worldwide.
The app is avilable on Google Play and iTunes.
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Health workers in Nairobi, Kenya are using the iAfya mobile app to learn and to educate people on health issues. The app, created by Avallain Limited, a social enterprise based in Switzerland and Kenya, is already being used by health workers at Coptic hospital. “iAfya Health Information aims at improving patients’ health status, decreasing the incidence of disease, and preventing costly complications. We do this by providing verified and contextualized health information at the right time and in a language understandable to the users,” said Shelmith Mumbi, Deputy Director, Avallain Limited.
iAfya is essentially a patient education tool. Anyone with a mobile phone can download the android app and access health tips which are valuable for everyday life.
The app has been tested at Coptic hospital, as part of a three month pilot exercise. The results are promising. Health workers found iAfya convenient and easy to use. The app hopes to reduce the amount of preventable emergencies, as well as support the health sector in managing the huge patient to health worker ratio in Kenya, by supporting nurses in their role as core patient educators in hospitals.
During the piloting, iAfya was used to educate patients in the maternal and child health clinics. The initiative continues to provide clients from the antenatal clinic, postnatal clinic, mothers at the well-baby clinic and their spouses opportunities for prenatal and postnatal health talk. Topics include:Antenatal care Breastfeeding Nutrition Basic first aid Vaccinations Family planning.
These are all addressed and discussed in weekly sessions on the app. The app also provides health professional with an opportunity to responds to questions and demystify myths and misconception about health in the society.
Avallain Ltd. and Coptic Mission Hospital are looking to expand the initiative to other clinics in the hospital such as the chronic disease clinic, family planning unit and tuberculosis clinic.
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IBM’s Watson is the world’s first cognitive computer system. Watson is a cognitive technology that processes information more like a human than a computer—by understanding natural language, generating hypotheses based on evidence, and learning as it goes.
And learn it does. Watson “gets smarter” in three ways: by being taught by its users, by learning from prior interactions, and by being presented with new information. This means organizations can more fully understand and use the data that surrounds them, and use that data to make better decisions.
IBM researchers will use Watson and its related cognitive technologies to learn and discover insights from Big Data and develop commercially viable solutions to Africa’s top challenges in healthcare, education, water, sanitation, human mobility and agriculture.
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Internship Community Service Programme (ICSP) Online is an online application system for graduate health professionals. It is an initiative of the South African National Department of Health (NDoH) to support the application and placement of eligible graduates in internship and community service posts.
The ICSP Online software is built and maintained by HISP-SA using the DHIS2 as the underlying platform and database. It is one of a suite of initiatives that form part of NDoH efforts to strengthen the Human Resource Information System (HRIS).
To register and apply, click this link: Internship and Community Service Programme (ICSP)
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iDART (Intelligent Dispensing for Anti Retroviral Treatment) is an initiative developed in South Africa in collaboration between the Desmond Tutu HIV Foundation (DTHF), Cape Peninsula University of Technology and the University of Cape Town. iDART was developed as a software solution to support the dispensing of ARV drugs in the public health sector.
Since its release, product development has been based on extending the operational functionality of the original system and iDART is currently being used in over 100 District Clinics and over 260 down referral sites. The system deployment has grown to the point where, throughout South Africa, more than 300 000 patients every month are receiving ARV treatment managed via iDART.
Cell-Life has, over the previous 5 years, been able to successfully implement and train users on the iDART system. This, coupled with Evolutionary Prototyping in its development with Pharmacists, Research organisations and M&E specialists, has led us to believe we are able to enhance the Capacity of the current users and also benefit a significant number of new users especially in the under-resourced Public Health facilities. Cell-Life has cultivated extensive partnerships with District, Provincial and National stakeholders as well as Academic Research organisations.
Advantages of the iDART System as opposed to manual dispensing:Significantly improved throughput of Patients at dispensing sites thus reducing waiting time for Patients. More accurate dispensing of Drugs reduces errors and improves call-back rates. More systematic controls of drug supply chain management improves stock ratios and prevents over- and under-stocking of EDL drugs. More controlled stock and dispensing information reduces losses through drug write-offs and theft. Automation of procurement requirements ensures the maximum application of drug/budget ratios to ensure cost effective application of available funds to Essential Drug stocks. Dispensing software allows the maximum effective use of trained personnel leading to improved Health Care Worker satisfaction and capacity building. Improved reporting of drug dispensing information allows for better procurement decision making, drug stock planning and drug supply chain workflows at District Clinic, Regional, Provincial and National levels.
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InstaHealth is a mobile application that enables anybody with a phone (feature phone or smartphone) to have access to health information instantly. Through the use of Geo location and an Interactive Voice Response (IVR) system, it connects users to health centers, specialists, ambulances and consultation services.
InstaHealth seeks to provide information on healthcare facilities and contact details for personnel through smartphones and feature phones, generating local content and making it as accessible as possible.
The platform uses interactive voice response (IVR), geo-location and a call centre for people who wish to talk directly to a customer representative, and plans to expand away from healthcare.
“There is information for Uganda that not even Google can provide and since not everybody has access to the internet, InstaHealth focuses on drawing these services closer to people by also involving people that have no access to smart phones and computers,” says Brenda Katwesigye, founder and team leader at InstaHealth.
The initiative has also won a number of awards including:ITU Young Innovators Award 2013, Bangkok, Chad SITIC Toumai Grand Prize, N’Djamena, Chad Innovation for health award at the Public Health Awards, Kampala, Uganda
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