• Events
  • Discover Africa’s plethora of eHealth opportunities at eHealthAFRO 2017 Use-case Bazaar

    Industry stakeholders are realising the opportunity for eHealth to help expand access to healthcare resources, improve patient outcomes, and increase efficiency of healthcare services. The eHealth space in Africa is experiencing an explosion of new ideas and technologies, which the eHealthAFRO 2017 conference will showcase. It takes place at Emperors Palace from 2-4 October 2017.

    Afternoon use-case bazaars on Tuesday and Wednesday will allow conference participants to explore 48 new ideas and technologies. These sessions will feature compelling eHealth solutions and implementations. The use-case bazaar themes extend from the conference theme: eHealth for Universal Health Care (eH4UHC) and includes mobile apps and devices, eHealth systems and architecture, and eHealth use-cases demonstrating on-the-ground successes.

    Participating organizations include HISP-SA, UCT's CIDER, Jembi Health Systems, SANAC's Focus for Impact project, the AitaHealth assisted community outreach project, HPCSA’s new eLogbook for interns and many more.

    See the expanding list on the eHealthAFRO website. Don’t miss this opportunity to engage with industry leaders, share your ideas and keep abreast of eHealth developments in Southern Africa.

    If you or your organization have an interesting eHealth solution or project, let it be shown where Africa meets for eHealth. There are still a few open slots for organizations that would like the opportunity to showcase their eHealth idea or technology. For more on this opportunity, contact the eHealthAFRO organizing committee here.

  • eHealthAFRO sets the pace #AreYouReady?

    Interest in Acfee's eHealthAFRO conference is extending across Africa. The enthusiasm is reflected in its new name eHealthAFRO 2017 Southern Africa that matches the pan-African relevance. Its new name reflects the expanding programme and its difference to other events.

    eHealthAFRO 2017 has three parts:

    A week of pre-conference seminars from 26 September to 1 October The main event programme from 2 to 4 October’s that includes presentations, debates, several breakaway workshops and SAHIAs HISA academic programme. The post-conference African eHealth Forum where Acfee’s Advisory Board meets on 5 and 6 October.

    eHealthAFRO 2017 includes:

    National eHealth strategies for Universal Access to Care, with a panel of Ministers and representatives from across Africa A demonstration of eHealth robotics by eHealth Group Updates on Cyber-security Information about South Africa’s National Health Insurance programme and National eHealth Strategy Updates on eHealth Strategy, governance, regulation and impact The District Health Information System (DHIS)DHIS Free and Open Source Software (FOSS) global success Breakaway workshops on OpenMRS, OpenHIE, OpenSRP, Vula and Bahmni, and open source EMR, and other topics A perspective on India’s eHealth and lessons for Africa Updates on Public health and surveillance.

    Discussions are underway with other eHealth organisations about their participation. Updates on progress will be on eHNA and eHealthAFRO 2017.

    Themes in the pre-conference seminars include:

    Building blocks for eHealth strategies Future eHealth leadership WebDHIS for data managers Hosting DHIS2 South Africa’s Health Normative Health Standards Framework (HNSF) Managing an NGO in challenging times.

    It is vital that people in eHealth share and learn from each other’s ideas and progress. Join us at eHealthAFRO 2017 Southern Africa because eHealth’s transforming health and healthcare, and everyone’s ideas, experiences and challenges are valuable.

    eHealthAFRO is where healthcare professionals, government leaders eHealth enthusiasts and industry stakeholders explore tangible eHealth opportunities and eHealth excellence in Southern Africa and across the content. We look forward to welcoming you.

  • HISA calls for papers for its conference at eHealthAFRO 2017

    Sharing eHealth experiences and research finding’s essential to progress. These are the main goals of the Health Informatics South Africa (HISA) Call for Papers (CfP) for its conference at eHealthAFRO 2017 on 2 to 4 October 2017 in Johannesburg. It’s hosted by the South African Health Informatics Association (SAHIA). The CfP has four topics. They’re:

    eHealth Strategy, governance and regulationeHealth impact through routine health informationCyber-security related to eHealth applicationseHealth systems related to public health and surveillance. 

    Papers on other relevant eHealth topics may be considered. Will extra papers include health informatics developments and research on eHealth futures, such as AI and health analytics?

    The timetable’s:

    Full papers submitted to South African Computer Journal (SACJ), complying with SACJ’s submission guidelines, by Monday 28 August 2017    Notification of paper acceptance on Friday, 15 September 2017Final author registration by Friday, 22 September 2017Final paper due Friday, 29 September.

    A special SACJ edition will published presented papers. They’ll comply with SACJ’s editorial process, so at the end of the submission form, comments to the editor should include “HISA Conference paper.”

    eHealthAFRO 2017 brings together researchers and practitioners active in health informatics. At least one author should register for eHealthAFRO and present the paper at the HISA Conference for the paper to be eligible for SACJ publication. SACJ charges ZAR6,000 for publication costs for accepted papers, but authors with no funding can apply for this to be waived.

    Prof Nicky Mostert-Phipps is the contact for submissions. She is a software development lecturer at the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University Faculty of Engineering’s Built Environment and Information Technology, and can provide more information about HISA’s conference and preparing and submitting papers.

      

  • Healthcare innovations claim top spots at this year’s Innovation Prize for Africa

    The sixth edition of the Innovation Prize for Africa (IPA) culminated with the African Innovation Foundation (AIF) awarding three African innovators for their innovations that tackle unique African challenges. Over 2,500 applications were submitted. Only ten nominees were selected.

    From these, Egypt’s Aly El-Shafei, a Professor of Vibration Engineering at Cairo University was the US$100,00 Grand Prize winner. Ugandan Philippa Ngaju Makobore, an electric engineer won the second prize of US$25,000, and Dougbeh-Chris Nyan of Liberia, a research scientist won the US$25,000 Special Prize for Social Impact, says an article in BIZTECH Africa. Two of the three African innovation wines focused on healthcare.  

    Inadequate medical solutions to administer drugs efficiently or diagnose diseases adversely affect healthcare quality in many parts of Africa. Makobore’s invention, Electronically Controlled Gravity Feed Infusion Set (ECGF) and Dr Nyan’s multiple disease rapid detection test both offer solutions that can improve Africa’s healthcare quality.

    AIF collaborated with the Government of Ghana, represented by the Ministry of Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation (MESTI), Ghana Investment Promotion Centre (GIPC) and Ghana@60 Planning Committee to host IPA 2017. The theme was African Innovation: Investing in Prosperity.

    AIF Founder, Jean-Claude Bastos de Morais was enthusiastic about the event. He said “AIF has rewarded IPA 2017 for developing solutions that can truly add value to the lives of Africans, and I believe that these innovations have incredible commercial potential and will succeed in attracting the right investments to go to the next stage.”

    Makabore’s ECFG’s  designed to administer Intravenous (IV) fluids and drugs accurately by controlling the rate of fluid flow using feedback from a drop sensor. IV infusions are critical for administering the right flows and volumes that patients need. Over 10% of children admitted to East African hospitals need immediate infusion therapy. Findings from the Fluid Expansion As Supportive Therapy FEAST trial indicate that over-infusion in children increases the risk of death by 3.3% at 48 hours. By increasing accuracy and safety, ECGF can save lives.

    Dr. Dougbeh developed a test to detect and simultaneously differentiate seven infections.  with similar symptoms, such as yellow fever, malaria, and Ebola. Most common testing methods take between three to seven days. His device provides results in ten to 40 minutes. He’s currently working on the second prototype. It’s a valuable step up  in detecting and managing infectious diseases.

    IPA has seen a large growth in applications and increasing interest from innovators and enablers. It’s attracted more than 7,500 innovators from 52 African countries. Hopefully next year’s winners will incorporate eHealth and mHealth in their innovations. 

  • SAVE THE DATE! eHealthAFRO 2017 Southern Africa 2-4 October 2017

    We are thrilled to announce dates and the venue for this year's eHealthAFRO Southern Africa 2017 conference.

    2 - 4 October 2017Emperors Palace, Johannesburg

    The event will be hosted by the South African National Department of Health (NDoH) in collaboration with an Acfee-led consortium of leading eHealth organisations, including Health Information Systems Program-SA (HISP-SA), the South African Health Informatics Association (SAHIA) HealthEnabled, and a growing array of partners.An extensive pre-conference programme will run at the Emperors Palace from 27 September 2017. Themes, programme, speakers and much more will be pushed through to the conference website in a regular series of releases building up to the event.Join us for an unforgettable event, where healthcare professionals, government leaders and industry stakeholders explore tangible eHealth opportunities and eHealth excellence in Southern Africa. eHealthAFRO 2017 will empower participants to advance eHealth in the region by showcasing proven strategies, best practice and real-world learning to realise measurable benefits for patients, communities, clinicians, and the industry as a whole.The event has an extended programme of seminars, an academic programme and high-level policy meetings to discuss and build a roadmap for eHealth to move forward in the region. 

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    NDoH is the government department responsible for health service delivery in South Africa. It's vision is "a long and healthy life for all South Africans". Its mission is "to improve health status through the prevention of illnesses and the promotion of healthy lifestyles and to consistently improve healthcare delivery system by focusing on access, equity, efficiency, quality and sustainability". 

    Acfee is an African network of eHealth experts. Acfee develops eHealth capacity and leadership for African countries to support improved health outcomes for our people. Acfee leads the eHealthAFRO 2017 initiative.

    HISP-SA develops and implements sustainable and integrated Health Information Systems that empower communities, healthcare workers and decision makers to improve the coverage, quality and efficiency of health services. 

    SAHIA is an independent organisation formed to promote the professional application of Health Informatics in South Africa. SAHIA is a member of the International Medical Informatics Association (IMIA). 

    HealthEnabled is an Africa-based non-profit. They are digital health architects that help governments and other health organisations integrate proven life-saving digital health interventions into their health systems at scale.

  • Merck eHealth Meetup’s been in Tunis

    Sharing ideas, trends and initiatives on eHealth’s vital for learning and progress. Merck, a science and technology company, set up its eHealth Meetup in April 2016 as part of its Merck Accelerator Africa programmes. After its successful launch in Johannesburg, Merck North West Africa (NWA) brought it to Tunis.

    The event announced an Incubator headed by Merck NWA to:

    Train young professionals and students on entrepreneurship and build multi-disciplinary  teams to work with their main, local marketsHelp successful teams to raise money and build market strategiesBuild a network of supporting partners.

    Africa.com has described the event as providing a platform for the digital innovation community to discuss current and future trends and to network. eHealth Meetup’s main goal as setting up a forum for business leaders, entrepreneurs, policy-makers, scholars and aspiring entrepreneurs to exchange ideas about entrepreneurship. Content includes coverage of current trends in Africa’s dynamic economies and leveraging experience from across the world to create a thriving African start-up community.

    It’ll be valuable to see how health and healthcare in Tunisia and NWA benefit from eHealth Meetup. Will its eHealth make a big step up, or a slow burn?

  • Med-e-Tel conference’s ready to go

    This year’s Med-e-Tel 2017 conference theme’s A View on Telemedicine and eHealth Initiatives Around The World. It includes:

    Improving healthcare via an integrated, online communication platform with International SOSMaincare Solution, a French eHealth leader in cyber-security and Big DataLuxembourg eHealth Agency on Big Data for public healthInnovative medical device for near-patient testing with AvalunWorkshop on telemedicine in heart failure, detection of atrial fibrillation, mobile tele-ecg and AI for ECG interpretation.

    The Med-e-Tel 2017 expo and networking area features a wide range of young and established companies, associations and organisations. They’ll provide practical, hands-on demonstrations of their solutions and provide information about their services and activities.

    The conference runs from 5 to 7 April. There’s still time to register. The themes are directly relevant for Africa’s health systems.

  • Saudi Arabia’s assessing eHealth change

    It’s well known that health ICT alone doesn’t result in net benefits. Change needs adding to it, creating eHealth. Just because it’s included doesn’t make it easy.

    A report in the Saudi Gazette says change is difficult. In healthcare, it can be the greatest challenge. To deal with it, the Health Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS) has organised 2030 eHealth and Beyond, a conference on April 10 to 11 in Riyadh. It will examine the key success factors to adapting to and succeeding with change.

    About 15 years ago, an article in Harvard Business Review (HBR) said 70% of all change initiatives fail.  It attributed the cause in “Most of those failures is that in their rush to change their organizations, managers end up immersing themselves in an alphabet soup of initiatives. They lose focus and become mesmerized by all the advice available in print and on-line about why companies should change, what they should try to accomplish, and how they should do it. This proliferation of recommendations often leads to muddle when change is attempted.” It might have improved a bit since then, but possibly not by much.

    An eHNA post identified the scale of the challenge. It said health experts at the World Economic Forum (WEF) aren’t too sure how eHealth will transform healthcare.

    Undaunted, healthcare leaders and change management experts will examine the practices the Kingdom’s hospitals need to adopt succeed in using eHealth to transform health and healthcare. King Fahad Medical City, King Faisal Specialist Hospital and Research Centre and King Khalid Eye Specialist Hospital will team up in discussions to challenge leading consultants to guide Saudi hospitals in healthcare.

    The event has five themes. They’re medical informatics, mHealth, quality and safety, tracking and monitoring and change management.

  • A roadmap for image-based mobile technologies in Africa

    "We need new energy to change the world,” said Maud Olofsson, former Swedish Deputy Prime Minister. She was opening the fifth STIAS-Wallenberg Roundtable in Stellenbosch, South Africa. She was talking about the energy of innovation and the people driving it. She emphasised how mHealth experts should help politicians to understand these rapidly changing technologies and work with them how to secure the benefits and opportunities for health systems strengthening. 

    The roundtables are an initiative of the Marianne and Marcus Wallenberg Foundation. They have been run every year since 2013. Delegates are from South Africa, Sweden and the broader international community, invited to engage in dialogue and debate to explore solutions to global challenges.

    The February 2017 Roundtable focused on image-based mobile health. Over 60 participants attended from 16 countries. The event provided an opportunity for cross-sectoral and cross-disciplinary discussions and networking, says an article in africahealthnews.

    A tangible output of the roundtable is a roadmap to be published in a special issue of Global Health Action devoted to mHealth. eHNA will share it once it's available.

    The roadmap emerged from discussions on five key questions about the implementation, expansion and up-scaling of image-based mHealth in resource-constrained settings:

    How should the most important barriers to the implementation of image-based mHealth in the clinical setting be overcome?How can frontline healthcare workers adopt image-based mHealth in their practice?Which key strategies are needed to overcome organisational challenges to implementing image-based mHealth?Which are key strategies to overcome technical challenges in implementing image-based mHealth within the health sector?For each stakeholder groups represented, what are the most important priorities to build and sustain mHealth leadership?

    Emphasis on finding solutions and crafting a tangible roadmap provides a constructive model for this type of sector engagement. African eHealth experts included African Centre for eHealth Excellence’s (Acfee) Dr Sean Broomhead (South Africa), Prof Peter Nyasulu (South Africa and Malawi), Dr Ousmane Ly (Mali) and Dr Eddie Mukooyo (Uganda). They will take lessons from the roundtable experience into the Acfee stakeholder events planned for Southern Africa and East Africa towards the end of 2017.

    Helping end users make better decisions and provide better care was critical a focus. Discussions included how best to deal with barriers such as regulatory aspects, costs, Internet accessibility, airtime, power shortages, lack of training, use of personal phones and safety issues around phones, data accuracy and security - a long list - so that users are able to embrace mobile health.

    Delegates included nurses and doctors sharing practical experiences using mHealth in clinical settings, overcoming implementation challenges, and leading change. Their stories fuel optimism for what is possible. We look forward to reading the roadmap and to sharing it with eHNA readers.

    Image courtesy of STIAS

  • AeHIN’s strategy has lessons for Africa’s eHealth

    Last week I returned from an Asian eHealth conference in Myanmar. The trip was extraordinary for a number of reasons: exploring places, people and cultures quite different to the African environment I call home, learning about our Asian colleagues' approach to eHealth leadership, and learning first-hand how ubiquitous the open source DHIS2 platform has become.

    As our African countries health systems move towards eHealth goals, looking at other global regions provides valuable insights.

    Set up in 2011, the Asian eHealth Information Network (AeHIN) provides an overview of eHealth in that part of the world. When it started, it identified a shared problem of, at best, minimal Interoperability (IOp) “Even within Ministries of Health.”

    AeHIN has a clear trajectory for its 25 country members. The Asia eHealth Information Network: Strategic Roadmap 2016-2020 sets out a wide array of initiatives to support national eHealth development in Asia. There are four strategic goals:

    Build eHealth capacity for Health Information Systems (HIS) and Civil Registration and Vital Statistics (CRVS)Effective networking to increase peer assistance and knowledge exchange and sharingPromote IOp in and between countriesEnhance leadership, sustainable governance and M&E.

    eHealth governance framework for enterprise ICT is based on COBIT5, from the Information Systems Audit and Control Association (ISACA). It’s an internationally recognised framework for ICT governance. Its three overarching themes are evaluate, direct and monitor. There are four main parts in AeHIN’s model:

    Align, plan and organiseBuild, acquire and implementDeliver, service and supportM&E and assess.

    AeHIN has eHealth blueprints for enterprise architecture. Its four components are business, data, application and technology. It also has a Regional Enterprise Architecture Council for Health (REACH). Its eHealth capacity framework has seven modules:

    eHealth service agreementsManagement, plans, policies and proceduresIOp profiles and terminology servicesHealth Information Exchange (HIE)National Standards and IOp frameworkeHealth governance frameworkNational eHealth action plans.

    Supporting these initiatives are special interest groups. They include:

    Geographic Information Systems (GIS) labRoutine HISsDistrict Health information Systems (DHIS) 2, implemented in twelve countriesResearch, with ten PhDs to work on AeHIN topicsCommunity of IOp labs.

    The African Centre for eHealth Excellence (Acfee) has much in common with AeHIN and its aspirations. A working relationship has been initiated between Acfee and AeHIN to begin sharing African and Asia lessons for mutual benefit.

    This structured approach offers a template for Africa’s eHealth. Modest, steady, sustained investment can start to achieve it.