Gates Foundation and PATH wire up health data in Africa using a novel approach
The project is all about digital health, but doesn’t employ flashy new technology. And despite the essential roles being played by the two prominent Seattle-area organizations, they aren’t being publicly praised for the effort — in fact, they often get no recognition for it at all.
Yet this no-frills, behind-the-scenes project — the blandly named Data Use Partnership — has the potential for radically improving public health in the East African country of Tanzania and beyond.
The partnership is digitizing and connecting Tanzania’s healthcare system, linking a fragmented array of databases and information sources. A unified system could dramatically improve efficiency, accountability and cost savings for a country of 45 million people that struggles with infectious diseases including HIV/AIDS.
By helping health-care workers share crucial data in real time, the partnership could better target the dispersal of limited medicines where they’re most-needed, provide coordinated care for people with HIV/AIDS, and ensure that children are vaccinated in a timely manner, said those involved.
Photo courtesy of Possible.