This Meetup is co-hosted by Ronda Zelezny-Green and Lauren Dawes of Panoply Digital, along with Chisenga Muyoya and Chris Foote. Occasionally, we will include additional event information on this site to make the e-invites more concise. We hope you will come out to the ICT4D Meetup to be hosted at the GSMA HQ in London on Tuesday 26 January from 6:30pm. Worldwide, we are witnessing a growing amount of health challenges to address such as obesity and diabetes in North America and the Middle East, the recent Ebola outbreaks in West Africa, and the Zika virus in Brazil, alongside diseases such as HIV/AIDS and malaria which are even more widespread. Many countries face challenges to identifying (affordable) solutions that can mitigate the negative impact of these conditions while at the same time ensuring these solutions reach as many people as possible.
Similar to other areas of national development, the health sector is experiencing an influx in approaches that attempt to make use of technology to achieve positive impacts related to manifold aspects of patient care - and mobile is no exception. At present, there are hundreds of mHealth services available globally: some send reminders to patients to take HIV medications, others help keep pacemakers running smoothly, while some help facilitate remote diagnoses in countries with too few physicians. However, a review of nearly 700 mHealth services by the GSMA found "...that less than 1% of these [mHealth services] significantly impact health outcomes." Although there is a lot of hope invested in what mobile can do to contribute to positive results in the health sector, in terms of impact, much remains to be seen.
To that end, this ICT4D Meetup will feature a lineup of six speakers who will share their projects, software, and critical perspectives on mHealth with an eye to debunk or validate the hype - and explore future potentials. What follows, in alphabetical order, is more information about our speakers, Chantal Foyer, Marco Haenssgen, Anna Kydd, Alex Little, Krishma Nayee, and Andrew Wyborn, and the organizations they work for:
Chantal Foyer will present OneWorld's 'Learning about Living' programme, which helps young people in Nigeria, Senegal, Mali, Egypt and Cambodia make well-informed, positive decisions about their personal health and relationships. The programme leverages the power of mobile health and matches mobile technologies with eLearning programmes in schools, peer education, radio programming, social media and face-to-face advocacy campaigns. Chantal will share the lessons learned from 9 years of implementing Learning about Living as well as some of the data gathered through the mobile platform.
Chantal Foyer has an academic background in International Relations and in International Development. After her MA she worked at editorial agency Content Consultants, researching and developing content for mobile maternal and child health programmes for partners such as MAMA and BabyCenter. Chantal now works as Programme Officer for OneWorld UK's flagship sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) programme 'Learning about Living' across five countries. Chantal is extremely passionate about how information and communication technology can create safe spaces for young people to discuss and learn about SRHR.
Marco Haenssgen is a mixed-methods researcher with international experience in development finance and economics, public health, and mobile technology. His current research surrounds topics of technology adoption, health systems, mHealth, big data, and health programme evaluation methods. His position as Postdoctoral Scientist – Health Policy and Systems links the Centre for Tropical Medicine and Global Health (Nuffield Department of Medicine) and the CABDyN Complexity Centre (Saïd Business School).
Marco's presentation will critically investigate the fact that, despite there being 1,000+ mHealth projects globally (GSMA, 2015), fundamental questions about the healthcare implications of mobile phone use have remained unanswered. Public health research interests in mobile phones commonly surround the design, deployment, and enabling conditions for mHealth interventions; some studies examine the direct health implications of mobile phone use (e.g. radiation, texting and driving, sleep disruption); but virtually no research explores the implications of mobile phone diffusion for access to healthcare in low-, middle-, or high-income contexts. Contrary to common assumptions underlying mHealth, mobile phones may not be given, neutral, and static platforms for service delivery. If people’s locally emerging health-related phone uses are advantageous, they may compete with future patient-centred mHealth projects; where phone use adversely affects people’s healthcare-seeking behaviour, using mHealth interventions to improve healthcare access may be contradictory.
Clare Jones leads on partnerships at what3words - a tech-for-good startup that has created a global addressing system. Clare’s background is in the development and growth of social enterprises, working in impact investing prior to joining what3words. Her previous experience includes setting up 2nd Chance, which helps young Londoners into work, and working in international and UK-based NGOs. She is interested in the power of innovative business to change the world, and sits as a non-executive director on the board of social enterprises Tiny Diner and Street Coffee.
In her presentation, Clare will explore how the world is poorly addressed and simply referring to precise locations can be problematic. In developing countries, poor addressing costs the economy billions and around the world it hampers the growth and development of nations, ultimately costing lives. what3words can help to change that. what3words is a global grid of 3mx3m squares where each square has been pre allocated with a fixed and unique 3 word address. It means that everyone & everywhere now has a simple and usable address.
Anna Kydd is the co-founder and Director of The SHM Foundation, a charitable foundation based in the UK that works globally to bring about positive social change through projects in the areas of learning and citizenship, health and the arts. She has built an expertise in the area of mobile health in Latin America and Africa, and co-established an initiative to create support groups via mobile phone for those affected by high levels of social isolation and stigma. Anna has carried out research into how technology can provide opportunities for social change, and regularly presents at international conferences in the area of technology and health. She also collaborates with universities (Yale School of Medicine, University College London, University of Pretoria) and research organisations in the field.
Anna has set up support group models via mobile phone for those living and affected with HIV in Mexico, HIV+ pregnant women in South Africa, and most recently for HIV+ adolescents in South Africa who are lacking sufficient support networks to help them navigate living with the condition. She will present Project Khuluma, which is looking at how mobile phone support groups can improve mental health and wellbeing outcomes for HIV positive adolescents and provide a cost-effective mental health care model for hospitals and clinics that want to provide psychosocial support for their patients but find it challenging due to the shear numbers that require support.
Alex Little is a web developer specialising in educational technology for low resource environments. Alex is the lead developer for Digital Campus's OppiaMobile learning platform and also lead developer for mPowering's ORB health worker training content repository. Previously, he lived in Ethiopia for 2 years working with Voluntary Services Overseas establishing an elearning programme for Mekelle University. Alex also spent over 7 years as a senior developer and researcher for the Open University (UK).
OppiaMobile is an open source mobile learning platform developed by Digital Campus, a UK not for profit. Alex is using the platform on a DFID-funded project in Ethiopia for training approximately 160 health extension workers in maternal and childcare. The platform is also being used in five other countries (Nigeria, India, Pakistan, Ghana & Zambia) for community health worker training. ORB is a repository/library of openly licensed frontline health worker training content specifically designed for mobile device delivery. The platform is run by mPowering Frontline Health Workers, a USAID public-private partnership.
Desiree Stewart has a background in maternal, newborn and child health (MNCH), public health and health management in development contexts. Having recently spent 6 years living and working in East Africa, she is currently in the role of Child Health Programmes Adviser for World Vision UK and oversees the MNCH component of their DfID-funded Programme Partnership Arrangement. This grant has enabled the strengthening of World Vision's community-based health programming in 10 countries, including an mHealth project in Sierra Leone.
World Vision UK's work in Sierra Leone combines mHealth technologies with maternal, newborn and child health (MNCH) programming, implemented by Community Health Workers. The mobile phone applications utilised are integrated with the WHO endorsed 7-11 approach, a behaviour change model providing timed and targeted household visits to pregnant and lactating women and children under 2 years. The digital health programming has lead to enhanced coordination of household visits, as well as improved collection and transfer of data, strengthening the Ministry of Health's readiness for scale up across the country. This presentation will highlight a few of the insights gained during the Ebola crisis, which challenged World Vision UK to be adaptive in the use of these technologies, and explore how these technologies could be better tapped into in such crises in the future.
Kim Viljoen, as Business Intelligence Manager for the GSMA’s mHealth team, manages the Business Intelligence analytics work stream as well as the Monitoring, Evaluation and Learning (MEL) for the mHealth programme. With a background in engineering and considerable experience in the mHealth industry, Kim plays an essential role in producing valuable insights for driving a product improvement process for the various mHealth services the GSMA is partnered with.
The GSMA, with a grant from the UK Department for International Development, launched the mNutrition Initiative of which the mHealth programme is currently being implemented across 8 countries in sub-Saharan Africa. With a number of successful service launches under the belt, the post-launch support programme is currently underway. Kim will be presenting on some of the progress made by the mHealth programme, with specific reference to the post-launch support efforts. She will also be drawing on some of the key insights generated from business intelligence analytics and how this paves the way for optimising the service.
Andrew Wyborn is a focused entrepreneur with a successful record of developing businesses from start-up stage through to fully fledged and highly successful enterprises. He has a passion for building businesses that have a positive impact and that deliver effective solutions that really make a difference. Andrew launched Greenmash in 2011 to help address the demand for fast and accurate data to support health system strengthening in low and middle income countries. Greenmash is a UK based software and services organisation that deploys data collection and reporting systems on a cloud-based mobile application platform known as Mango. Mango is currently in use in nine sub-Saharan African countries, helping to improve access to essential medicines and health services.
Andrew will discuss, through his work with Greenmash, programs in multiple countries with dozens of partners and donors including PSI, JSI, UNFPA, GIZ, DfID, USAID, PMI, Oxfam, CHAI, and SightSavers, plus a number of research institutions, foundations and ministries of health. The applications they deploy improve decision making and program impact and also integrate seamlessly with other reporting and management systems including DHIS2 and various LMIS to support fast and accurate reporting for all stakeholders.