Healthsites, eHealth Africa mapping health facility locations in West Africa to improve emergency care

News from an area not known for health tech. eHealth Africa is partnering with the Global Healthsites Mapping Project to create a dataset of health facility locations across West Africa. The goal of the global project is to improve outcomes in the medical and humanitarian sectors by establishing an accessible global baseline of health facility data. 

The project was initiated during the Ebola epidemic in March 2016 with support from the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and Kartoza. eHealth Africa’s expertise is in health facility data collection and presentation. eHealth Africa will be working with Healthsites using two platforms they developed: Gather, a human-mediated data collection and curation application that crowdsources and quality checks facility information; and Aether to facilitate interoperability over several systems, allowing for a large-scale data exchange between numerous organizations. The mapping app that Healthsites uses to establish the baseline of facility data is OpenStreetMap. 

Improving emergency care can lead to a 45% reduction in mortality rates and a 36% reduction in disability–The Lancet  The primary use cases center around epidemic preparedness, support for disaster response, immunization programs, and maternity care. Most of this involves responding to outbreaks more effectively, preparing for sudden influxes of patients, allocating resources and availability of resources, but also the health of women giving birth in remote areas.

Project partners include the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), Doctors Without Borders (MSF), The Humanitarian OpenStreetMap Team (HOT), the International Hospital Federation, and CartONG. The eHealth Africa blog is a great spot to track health tech used in the field in Africa.

mHealth vs Ebola – more

Following on from our previous item that included links on how mHealth is helping in the fight against the Ebola virus, and our subsequent item on a virus-killing robot, Prof Mike Short has kindly shared some  more links with a GSMA healthcare focus.

The first of these items explains how the GSMA, the ITU and the Internet Society are joining forces to fight against Ebola. The three organizations will bring together the global telecommunications and Internet communities, to leverage their extensive reach, capacity and respective memberships to increase the effectiveness of information and communications technologies (ICTs), especially mobile communications and the Internet, for better preparedness, early warning and response.

The sharing of mobile phone data is particularly important as (more…)

Now a (virus) killer robot

[grow_thumb image=”http://telecareaware.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/11/Xenex-robot.jpg” thumb_width=”150″ /]And it’s not a computer virus, either. The US Air Force’s 633rd Medical Group (MDG), based at Langley Air Force Base, Virginia has adopted Saul The Virus Killer Robot. Developed by Xenex Healthcare Services, it zaps viruses human cleaners can’t reach or disinfect. According to the article, Saul sweeps the room with “pulses of high-intensity, high-energy ultraviolet rays 25,000 times brighter than florescent lights to split open bacterial cell walls and kill dangerous pathogens commonly found in hospitals”. The pulses are verified in killing 22 microorganisms including single strand ribonucleic acid (RNA), like that of a virus similar to Ebola, at a range of two meters out in any direction, within five minutes, and at an efficiency rate of 99.9 percent. A useful fighter against more common and nasty MRSA, C.diff and other hospital-borne infections. Armed With Science

The sun is in his heaven and all’s well with the world?

It’s tempting to think that nothing much has changed in the world of telehealth & telecare recently. For example the quality of healthcare PR looks to be unchanged, if the recent announcement by Telehealth Sensors is anything to go by. They claim to have developed  an incontinence sensor that is “a revolutionary advancement in the home healthcare and post-acute care monitoring market.” Careful reading suggests this “revolutionary advancement” is based on the property of water, apparently only recently recognised by Telehealth Sensors,  that it conducts electricity (especially if its impure) – so advanced in fact that such sensors with a rather longer lifetime than the 30 days claimed by Telehealth Sensors, have (more…)

Ebola and health tech: where it can help, where it failed (Updated)

 [grow_thumb image=”http://telecareaware.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/08/keep-calm-and-enter-at-own-risk-3.png” thumb_width=”150″ /]Ignore the sign…come on in, we can be quarantined together! Everyone is on Ebola-overload, so we will keep it short and sweet. The Gimlet Eye (recovering after an argument with a box, see below) advises a calm, adult-beveraged, low-media weekend with Mantovani, Bert Kaempfert or Percy Faith on the stereo.

  • Yes, digital health is addressing the needs that Ebola screening and care are generating. MedCityNews spotlights Medizone International’s AsepticSure peroxide/ozone aerial mist sterilizer which was originally developed to kill MERS and MRSA in field hospitals, to be tested by Doctors Without Borders in a 40-bed unit. Startup AgileMD launched a free mobile app for clinicians containing the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) Ebola prevention treatment guidelines (for what anything from CDC is worth….) Text message alerts used first in Sierra Leone are being expanded to seven West African nations for use by the Red Cross and Red Crescent (also BBC News). Sanomedics International has the TouchFree InfraRed Thermometer which is being used at US airports which are screening for passengers originating in West Africa, and Noninvasive Medical Technologies is promoting their ZOE fluid status monitor because it applies electrical currents externally to determine hydration levels.
  • Even crowdfunding’s getting into the act. Researcher Erica Ollmann Saphire and her colleagues at Scripps Research Institute  (more…)