Management Sciences for Health at the Global Digital Health Forum 2017

 {Photo courtesy of Sherri Haas}MSH staff at the Global Digital Health Forum 2017.Photo courtesy of Sherri Haas

Management Sciences for Health’s work across the digital health spectrum was shared at the Global Digital Health Forum 2017 (GDHF 2017) in Washington, D.C. December 4-6, 2017. The GDHF is the premier global conference on the use of digital technology for health in low- and middle-income countries. MSH is an Advisory Board Member of the Global Digital Health Network and contributed substantially to development of the conference. The theme this year was The Evolving Digital Health Landscape: Progress, Achievements, and Remaining Frontier.

This year’s Forum had the highest attendance yet, with over 550 individuals participating in the three-day event, providing an opportunity for MSH to share its work and connect with other thought leaders, partners, and donors in the digital health space at the Forum and in meetings and related events throughout the week.

MSH was well-represented by home office and field staff, who led presentations and moderation of five panel sessions, an expert round table discussion, and a poster session. Our team showcased MSH’s digital health expertise on a wide range of areas, including disease surveillance, patient and inventory management, health care worker training, quality of care, DHIS2 integration, and digital health governance.

[Randy Wilson presents on data use and research at the Global Digital Health Forum.]{Photo Credit: Sherri Haas}Randy Wilson presents on data use and research at the Global Digital Health Forum.Photo Credit: Sherri Haas

  • Randy Wilson, Team Leader for Knowledge Management, Data Use and Research with the Rwanda Health System Strengthening Activity shared the exciting work MSH has done and continues to advance in electronic infectious disease surveillance and response (eIDSR), including the transition to a DHIS2-based platform. MSH is working to advance the module to the latest vision for electronic surveillance and outbreak management systems, including engaging the community in disease surveillance and response, and ensuring real-time information flow and interoperability with animal disease information systems for a One Health approach.
  • Countries and donors have aligned around the need for good governance and a supportive enabling environment to allow the full potential for digital technologies for health to be reached. Sherri Haas, MSH’s Sr Technical Advisor for Digital Health and Health Economics, moderated a panel on policies and strategies in East Africa, including the Digital REACH Initiative Roadmap announced by the Executive Secretary of the East African Health Research Commission (EAHRC), a groundbreaking document which MSH supported the development of through the K4Health Project.
  • Mackenzie Allen, Sr. Executive Assistant and former member of the Leadership, Management, and Governance (LMG) Project, shared the LMG Project’s experience integrating a peer support networking component via WhatsApp into the LMG for Midwifery Managers Course, allowing workshop participants to share knowledge and support remotely during their six-month workplace interventions.
  • MSH’s experience implementing a facility electronic medical record (EMR) system in Nigeria, and the substantial reductions in patient wait-times which were observed, was shared in a poster presentation prepared by Oluwatosin Ogungbade and the Care and Treatment for Sustained Suppot (CaTSS) team and presented by Sherri Haas.
  • Niranjan Konduri, Principal Technical Advisor for the SIAPS program, participated in a roundtable discussion, where he shared shared practical experience on how a low-cost, digital health user experience survey among public-sector staff in nine diverse, resource-constrained countries drew a very high response rate with reliable and valid results encompassing factors such as patient care, information accessibility and workplace productivity.

[Bayobuya Phulu presents at the Global Digital Health Forum.]{Photo courtesy of Bayobuya Phulu}Bayobuya Phulu presents at the Global Digital Health Forum.Photo courtesy of Bayobuya Phulu

  • Bayobuya Phulu, Senior Technical Advisor on the Systems for Improved Access to Pharmaceuticals and Services (SIAPS) program, traveled from Namibia to share MSH’s experience implementing a web-based electronic information system (dashboard) for patients and pharmaceutical inventory information. The dashboard serves as an early warning system, aggregating information from all public hospitals, medical stores and more than 50 antiretroviral treatment sites countrywide to improve the availability of medicines through evidence-based decision.

[Stephanie Ranaivo presents on USAID Mikolo project's mHealth work.]{Photo Credit: Sherri Haas}Stephanie Ranaivo presents on USAID Mikolo project's mHealth work.Photo Credit: Sherri Haas

  • Stephanie Ranaivo, mHealth Coordinator in Madagascar, presented the pilot results and future plans for the USAID Mikolo project’s mHealth work. A key lesson shared was the importance of early buy-in from the Ministry of Public Health and designing with the end-users, to build the foundation for scaling over time. MSH also presented Mikolo’s mHealth global health security work at USAID, highlighting how MSH responded quickly with its mHealth partner during the pneumonic plague outbreak in Madagascar to create a mHealth module for the identification and referral of possible plague cases at the community level.