ICT for Health, our contribution to the Master in ICT for Development and Social Good
It’s always a great experience to exchange ideas, facts, data, information and knowledge with people from different background, culture and environment. That’s what happened last month when we took part to the first edition of the Master programme in ICT for Development and Social Good as lecturer of the ICT for Health module. The Master course in ICT for Development and Social Good, organized by ONG2.0 and the University of Turin and co-funded by the Italian Agency for Cooperation and Development (AICS), allows students to acquire knowledge on managing projects in the cooperation and development sector with a special focus on the use of technology (ICT4D) to achieve project objectives. In our ICT for Health module, we explored many topics, starting from a general overview of healthcare systems and health information systems, describing the processes and steps required to run a successful mhealth project. We discussed about many examples of mhealth applications: from remote monitoring, to point of care, stock management, treatment adherence, education/awareness and crowdsourcing. Each type of application has been analysed through practical case studies, allowing us to explore projects like c-stock for the management of drugs supply; to talk about the CardioPad app from Cameroon for remote monitoring of cardiac diseases. We then presented applications like Momconnect in SouthAfrica to support women during pregnancy and the very interesting Mobile Academy app where co-design with users really shows its full potential. And, again, we spoke about monitoring and tracking diseases using mobile application as well as crowdsourcing tools. Students also had a chance to gain practical experience on some of the most common tools specifically used for mhealth projects such as CommCare, Magpi or TextIt. We also presented our Dewco data collection tool, developed by Gnucoop, that has been used, among others, for the development of the Integrated Refugees Health Information System (iRHIS) used by UNHCR to monitor health activities in refugee camps at worldwide level. So, talking about applications and mhealth tools implies a discussion about data and the common challenges of scalability, interoperability and data security. In our last lecture, we explored those challenges and possible solutions to overcome them. Furthermore, we walked through some basic concepts of data analysis like linear regression and decision tree with the overall objective of seeking good relations between our collected data.
dataanalysis datacollection mhealth training