Health Sector ICT Innovation Fair 2014, Malawi

I had a chance of visiting Malawi towards the end of November 2014 for the Health Sector ICT Innovation fair that was organised and coordinated by the Ministry of Health at Crossroads hotel in Lilongwe. The fair was themed "Leveraging information and communication technologies for evidence-based health sevice delivery" and involved the exhibition of ICT Innovations that the Ministry of Health and development partners are using to support health service delivery at individual, community, health facility and national levels. Evidently, it was no coincidence that the fair was colocated with the College of Medicine (COM) and National AIDS Commission (NAC) joint research and best practices dissemination conference with a related theme as "Reduction of disease burden in Malawi: Evidence-based public health approach".

I attended a number of sessions at both the conference and the fair. Some of the ICT innovations that were displayed were:

  • cStock, a RapidSMS, open-source, web-based logistics management system for community-level health products
  • Emergency triaging assessment and treatment (ETAT) algorithm on mobile phones
  • integrated support supervision using smartphones to assist in disseminating information during support supervision to ensure timely decision making on service delivery bottlenecks experienced in facilities
  • Integrated Human Resource Information System (iHRIS) to address availability and accessibility of quality human resources data by human resources practitioners at all levels
  • MNCH hotline, tips and reminders service - technology to improve quality and coverage of home-based and facility-based MNCH care practices
  • Demographic data exchange platform to promote continuity of care through sharing of patient demographics across facilities using nationally-unique patient IDs
  • Facility dashboards to provide timely reports for management at facilities, zonal offices and national level to enhance evidence-based decision making
  • Portable/mobile picture archiving and catalogue system (mobilePACS) to integrate with the national EMR system and digitize X-ray results
  • Centralised database of EID & VL LIMS to facilitate rapid delivery of EID results to health facilities to identify HIV-infected infants early
  • 3-2-1 service, a national on-demand public information service that provides information in local language on HIV/AIDS and family planning
  • OpenMRS EMR system to support clinical services