Berkeley team wins campus IT challenge
I want to acknowledge my team members Melissa Ho, Mahad Ibrahim, and Sonesh Surana for co-authoring the winning proposal (PDF linked here) in the Berkeley CITRIS IT for Society Challenge calling for the integration of next generation mobile phone technologies in the scale-up of Uganda output-based aid voucher services (link to the PDF presentation).
The University of California at Berkeley has a strong record in health services research and development of innovative information technologies. The team proposes to investigate the potential for smartphones to improve health service delivery financed in the Ugandan output-based aid (OBA) model. Findings on the feasibility of using smartphones could improve the efficiency and effectiveness of health service delivery with implications for scaling in many developing regions with poor healthcare and limited information technology infrastructure. The proposed strategy will tackle a critical gap in low-income countries’ health care: improving the reporting speed and quality of clinic data between healthcare providers and centrally located managers. Responding to an existing project’s need for improved information infrastructure, the team will test the feasibility of implementing a data reporting system at private clinics treating sexually transmitted infections (STIs) in a largely rural population of southwestern Uganda.
The Berkeley CITRIS IT for Society Challenge takes place as interest continues to grow in the use of mobile computing for healthcare delivery. There have been hundreds of blogposts in the last several months on the topic. I’m reposting ours from Feb 13th just to revisit the topic and a NYT article that got a lot of play in the blogsphere. Talking with researchers since the March 5th article, it’s not clear that Rwandan healthcare providers are as connected as the NYT reported (patient-level data portability is still a difficult goal to achieve at large scale), but I’ll have to get into that in another post.
THD post Feb 13th “Phones 4 Health Partnership with PEPFAR”
NYTimes March 5th “Wireless Technology Speeds Health Services in Rwanda”
Acumen Fund March 20th “Empowering with mobile phone technology“