• Events
  • HELINA 2019 paper submission deadline extended to 31 July 2019

    The deadline for submission of papers and poster abstracts for the Health Informatics Africa (HELINA) conference has been extended to 31 July 2019. They should be uploaded through this site.

    The event will be in Gaborone, Botswana, 20 to 22 November. The conference theme is “From Evidence to Practice: The implementation of digital health interventions in Africa for achievement of Universal Health Coverage (UHC)”.

    Read more about it in the eHNA announcement or the call for papers.


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  • A treasure trove of global goods revealed at DHIS2 2019 conference in Oslo

    Midsummer in Oslo, Norway has become synonymous with the DHIS2 conference, an annual meeting of the global DHIS2 community. This week I have had the pleasure of being part of it, along with 267 other participants from 61 countries and 118 organisation, 17 to 20 June.

    I have seen big changes over the three years I’ve been attending this event. Technology, people and ideas are maturing and aligning to provide a formidable vehicle for positive change, all brought together around the DHIS2, a remarkable global good supporting health strengthening and Universal Health Coverage efforts around the world.

    Hot topics this year include the DHIS2 FHIR adaptor, usability enhancements for a new DHIS2 Android App, extended analytics and visualisation, promising UX/UI enhancements, and many success stories of country DHIS2 use cases.

    I led a team to present on the Human Resource Information System work we have been doing in South Africa. In particular, we showcased an open standards-based interoperability architecture we've developed. It integrates a wide range of primary systems using OpenHIM, HAPI-FHIR, custom NodeJS, IHE mediators and DHIS2 to create a highly responsive, integrated environment. Key products are a Human Resources for Health Registry and a Data Warehouse. They will put data in the hands of various users, including the public, and give decision makers what they need to plan and manage the health workforce.

    A conference highlight is the picnic on Hovedøya Island. Some say that this is where the real work gets done. We will head across this afternoon to swim, barbecue and forge new partnerships for health systems transformation around the world.

    If you are strengthening your country’s health information systems, and haven’t attended a DHIS2 conference yet, then put a placeholder in your calendar for next year.

    I look forward to seeing you in Oslo.

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  • Join leaders and innovators at the Digital Health Conference in Johannesburg on the 29th of May

    As digital health progresses across Africa in innovative and exciting ways, it becomes important to share ideas and leverage on each others knowledge to harness the full benefits of ICT-for-health.

    Leaders, innovators and experts will be gathering at the Gallagher Convention Centre in Johannesburg to do just that on the 29th of May. The conference agenda boasts an exciting line-up themed around “Digital Health Maturity: Fulfilling the Potential Towards Better Patient Care”. Featured topics for discussion include; 

    Digital health collaboration: Changing the way the department of health manages informationE-health tools for hospital equipment management: From guidelines to realityLeveraging IoT in healthcaree-Patients role in a sustainable digital health systemOpportunities and challenges in leveraging digital health for planning and policy implementation and monitoringUsing design thinking and community engagement to create improved human-centred health solutionsDigital health: the past, present and futureThe change from conventional theatre design to full digitalBeyond chat. Towards impact.Digitising the South African human hand

    Register your attendance for Africa Health's Digital Health Conference and take advantage of networking with speakers from across Africa.

  • HELINA 2019 will be in Botswana – submit your paper by 10 July

    The Health Informatics Africa (HELINA) conference is a highlight on the African digital health calendar. The 2019 event will take place in Gaborone, Botswana, 20 to 22 November. eHNA will be there and we hope to see you too.

    The conference theme is “From Evidence to Practice: The implementation of digital health interventions in Africa for achievement of Universal Health Coverage (UHC)”. Its UHC focus provides a timely opportunity for countries to learn from one another’s experiences. Topics include:

    The maturity model approach to implementation of digital health solutionsDigital health learning systemsQuality and use of health data and systemsBig Data Analytics in health careHealth Information Systems InteroperabilityContinuous quality Improvement of health data and systemsDevelopment of competent human capacity for digital healthSustainable ICT-solutions for health service deliveryArtificial Intelligence and frontier technologies in digital health.

    Original presentations are invited in English or French. They should follow HELINA rules and be uploaded by 10 July 2019. Accepted papers will be published in electronic conference proceedings and some will be included in a special edition of the Journal of Health Informatics in Africa.

    Hosts include the Botswana Ministry of Health and Wellness, University of Botswana e-Health Research Unit, Botswana Institute for Technology Research and Innovation, Botswana Health Information Management Association. The event is supported by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and Health First.

    For more information, read the online announcement, email the conference chair Dr. Tom Oluoch or local organizing committee chair Kagiso Ndlovu, or email the scientific committee chair Prof. Nicky Mostert.

    Digital health continues to expand in Africa. We look forward to the Gaborone update on countries’ health strengthening successes.

  • African countries setup Country Health Situation Rooms for better health monitoring

    Two weeks ago, I was fortunate to participate in a workshop in Ethiopia hosted by the African Union, Africa CDC and UNAIDS.  The workshop aimed at strengthening the Country Health Situation Room initiative and roll-out across African countries.  Its goal is to support better use of health data and help countries keep populations healthier by improving their response to infectious diseases and epidemics.  

    Kenya was the first African country to adopt the Situation Room in 2015.  A further six countries – Cote d’Ivore, Lesotho, Namibia, Zambia, Uganda and Zimbabwe – have launched their Situation Rooms and are currently at different stages of scale-up and roll-out. 

    The Situation Room software integrates health data from multiple sources such as the DHIS2 and logistics management information systems (LMIS) at a country level.  Data are presented visually to help countries track progress and identify gaps in key health indicators.  The customisable interface allows countries to design their Situation Room around their health areas of interest and user types. 

    Matthew Greenall’s case study on the Country Health Situation Rooms describes the progress so far. Achievements include; 

    Enhanced collaboration between different health programmesImprovements in health decision makingImprovements in data qualityIncreased data use for decision makingImproved data sharing between stakeholders at national and regional levels

    Important challenges are also identified, such as;

    High turnover of staff and leadership compromised progressOperational and budgeting constraints interrupted roll-out in some countriesPoor quality of data at sub-national levelsOwnership – a strong desire for countries to host the software themselvesMaintenance of the Situation Room software requires strong technical support

    The Health Situation Room is a bold step for the participating African countries. We look forward to reporting the progress of this important eHealth contribution to health systems strengthening.  

  • ISfTeH’s next annual meeting’s in Portugal

    On 19 to 20 March 2019, the International Society for Telemedicine & eHealth (ISfTeH) conference will be underway in Lisbon, Portugal. Partners include the annual Portugal eHealth Summit which’s co-organised by ISfTeH’s institutional member, Centro Nacional TeleSaúde, part of the Shared Services of the Portuguese Ministry of Health (SPMS). The Portugal eHealth Summit is the largest eHealth event in Europe, bringing together some 10,000 stakeholders from the Portuguese National Health Service.

    It’s ISfTeH’s 24th International Conference. The range of topics is huge. They include:

    Technology to:

    o   Monitor  vital signs for long term conditions

    o   Health management of service users with severe mental illness

    o   Facilitating integrated care in wider communities

    Global Digital Health Index’s state of global digital health Telemedicine’s potential for UHC in Portuguese-speaking CountriesInjecting the human side of telemedicine and eHealthEconomic evaluation of an new guideline of an online clinic in Japan Considerations and guidelines for global teleconsultationPhysicians' experiences, attitudes and challenges in a paediatric telemedicine serviceAlgorithms for predictive medicine AI for healthcare professionals Big Data and tele-ECG eHealth data protection with GDPREffective digital tools for everyday practicePortugal’s experience of telehomecare and telemonitoringPutting IoT to work for caregiversIs technology the solution for chronic disease management?Tele-ECG network in Southern BrazilAI and telemedicine for heart failure diagnostic supportPractice guidelines for primary and urgent careCan telemedicine reflect healthcare system investment Needs?

    Details of the event will be available soon.

  • AXA Health Tech & You Awards wants bids for consumer-driven health innovation and excellence

    Driving proactive consumer engagement in health and supporting innovation are to success of the AXA Health Tech & You Programme. The current award has two categories, innovation and excellence. Applications close on 15 February 2019.

    AXA, an international health insurer, has focused the 2019 awards on celebrating entrepreneurs who provide the most valuable, trusted innovations for consumers in the market. The innovation and excellence categories will be underpinned by core values embracing diversity, health equality, and social inclusion.

    It’s seeking two types of solutions. One’s standalone solutions that help citizens take charge of their health and wellbeing. The other’s smart applications that enrich relationships between people and their careers, whether health professionals, friends or family. 

    The results could offer Africa’s health systems transformation models for some of their health promotion and community services. It’s worth looking out for the results.

  • Heidelberg University launches an eHealth policy course.

    Three entities have combined to create a five-day residential course on eHealth policy at Heidelberg University. The other two are evaplan, a University Hospital Heidelberg consultancy, and the Institute for Global Health.

    Developing national digital health policy: Laying the Foundations is designed for health planners and policy advisers. It will help them to explain eHealth’s national requirements for success. A specific emphasis is on low and middle income countries. It aims to help participants to:

    Understand how well-crafted eHealth strategies support smart investment Use available toolkits to design and improve country’s eHealth policiesStrengthen participants’ eHealth adviser roles Support decision making for interoperable eHealth and avoid further fragmentation Understand organisational and behavioural changes needed to maximise eHealth benefits.

    The curriculum for the first four days includes: 

    Health Strategies and eHealth strategies in developing countriesDeveloping eHealth strategiesPlanning for interoperabilityManagement and behavioural change. 

    The dates are 4 to 8 February 2019 at the university’s Internationales Wissenschaftsforum Heidelberg (IWH), Germany. The final day includes a guided tour of Heidelberg and time for mentoring and networking. Presenters are Peter Drury and Michael Stahl, The course is in English. Applications close on 15 November 2018.

  • Commonwealth Centre for Digital Health and ECH Alliance to launch their joint action plan

    Working and sharing with eHealth agencies offers mutual benefits. At the Digital Heath Week 2018 in Sri Lanka, the Commonwealth Centre for Digital Health (CWCDH) and the European Connected Health Alliance (ECH Alliance) met and agreed their joint action plan. It was originally envisaged in the partnership agreement announced in May 2018.

    The full action plan will be announced shortly. It will include:

    On 20 November 2018, launch of an ecosystem in Malta, both a European and a Commonwealth countryUganda’s ecosystem will be a nexus for collaboration across East Africa for CWCDH. HealthOrganisation of a Commonwealth Digital Health Skills Summit early in 2019 to connect existing skills programmes with the needs of many Commonwealth countriesLaunch of ecosystems in Sri Lanka and Uganda in early 2019. 

    These will comprise the beginnings of the Commonwealth Connected Health Alliance. Its aim will be exemplars for ecosystems across the Commonwealth. 

    Prof Dissanayake’s chair of CWCDH. He said “We decided to work together because we share the same mission and values and by joining forces we hoped we could deliver faster and do more better.” He is satisfied that considerable progress has been achieved in just a few months. The plan now’s to build on the value of the partnership with ECH Alliance and move forward with constructive activities as part of the commitment to work jointly with.

    COO of CWCDH, Anoop Singh said the partnership’s main goal’s to deliver real benefits, not to try to do everything. Bringing together eHealth stakeholders and collaborators from Europe, the Commonwealth and beyond will contribute to meeting numerous needs and opportunities.

    ECHAlliance chair Brian O’Connor is convinced that the collaboration will bring mutual benefits to everyone involved. His view’s based on discussions with people from over 40 Commonwealth countries. He sees their progress, innovations, determination and passion as a vital ingredient for future success.

    CWCDH will hold an event during the World Health Assembly (WHA) in Geneva in May 2019. The goal’s to obtain the commitment of Commonwealth governments to CWCDH’s planned activities. 

    Nineteen countries are Commonwealth members. If the benefits spill into the rest of Africa, the partnership will have proven its worth.


  • Asian Development Bank presents its Digital Health Impact Framework at AeHIN conference

    eHealth investment decisions usually end up by balancing value for money with affordability. It’s a regular end point for business cases for eHealth and a core ADB eHealth theme for its Digital Health Impact Framework (DHIF). It presented this and other components to the Asia eHealth Information Network (AeHIN) 6th annual conference this week in Colombo, Sri Lanka

    DHIF is a methodology for estimating and analysing socio-economic costs and benefits over time to identifying value for money and how long it takes to achieve it. Then it converts these into financial and accounting estimates to assess affordability. Tom Jones, the project lead, set out these issues that included:

    Deriving eHealth benefit requirements for health and healthcare strategiesIdentifying and engaging with stakeholdersManaging assumptions and estimateseHealth leadership, change management and new business models.

    The methodology has ten steps, but modellers and decision takers using DHIF for the time should choose only those components that are critical to the immediate decisions. From these, they can build up expertise and move towards using the full set.

    Risk is a constant in eHealth investment. DHIF can be used to estimate risk exposure that leads on to risk mitigation plans.

    Optimism is also common. DHIF provides adjustments for optimism bias, which can increase cost estimates with a range of lower than 40% up to 200%.

    Other material from the presentation is available from AeHIN’s Standards andInteroperability Lab (SILA). They can help Africa’s health systems improve their Health decisions, especially where parallel investment is needs in healthcare resources and new business models.