Gates Foundation and PATH wire up health data in Africa using a novel approach

Thursday, September 7, 2017

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the global health nonprofit PATH are working on a groundbreaking initiative in Africa that takes an unexpected 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.

Source: GeekWire (link opens in a new window)

Health Care, Technology
infectious diseases, public health