Challenges facing medical data digitization in low-resource contexts

Alex Shovlin, Mike Ghen, Peter Simpson, Khanjan Mehta

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

7 Scopus citations

Abstract

Mobile phones, especially with connectivity provided by rapidly expanding 3G networks, can be transformative in the quest for accurate and reliable health data in developing countries. Consequently, a plethora of efforts in the Information and Communication Technologies for Development (ICTD) field are focused on collecting, aggregating and digitizing community health information with the ultimate goal of strengthening resource-constrained health care systems. Such ventures often work in conjunction with Community Health Worker (CHW) programs to address the last-mile challenge of reaching rural communities. While leading such ventures in East Africa and South East Asia over the last six years, we have learned the importance of understanding and addressing a wide set of interrelated contextual, communication, business, and technological challenges to data collection. Drawing from these real-world experiences, this article presents the spectrum of challenges that entrepreneurs need to tackle for their data-driven health care ventures to be successful. An example-centric approach is employed with several examples drawn from the Mashavu Telemedicine System in Kenya. Mashavu regressed technologically from one pilot to the next, culminating in a health care delivery venture that is economically sustainable but uses almost no technology and does not collect any data.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 3rd IEEE Global Humanitarian Technology Conference, GHTC 2013
PublisherIEEE Computer Society
Pages365-371
Number of pages7
ISBN (Print)9781479924028
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 2013
Event3rd IEEE Global Humanitarian Technology Conference, GHTC 2013 - San Jose, CA, United States
Duration: Oct 20 2013Oct 23 2013

Publication series

NameProceedings of the 3rd IEEE Global Humanitarian Technology Conference, GHTC 2013

Other

Other3rd IEEE Global Humanitarian Technology Conference, GHTC 2013
CountryUnited States
CitySan Jose, CA
Period10/20/1310/23/13

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All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Management of Technology and Innovation

Cite this

Shovlin, A., Ghen, M., Simpson, P., & Mehta, K. (2013). Challenges facing medical data digitization in low-resource contexts. In Proceedings of the 3rd IEEE Global Humanitarian Technology Conference, GHTC 2013 (pp. 365-371). [6713713] (Proceedings of the 3rd IEEE Global Humanitarian Technology Conference, GHTC 2013). IEEE Computer Society. https://doi.org/10.1109/GHTC.2013.6713713