Takeaways from the 2019 ICT4D Conference

Post authored by Kanika Malik, one of Medic’s former Project Managers based in New Delhi. Pictured above (left to right) Jacqueline Edwards, Brian Ssennoga, Chris Lukolyo, Kanika Malik, and Michael Korir

In what is becoming a tradition for our team, Medic teammates participated in the 2019 ICT4D Conference in Kampala last month. Each year, the conference brings together key stakeholders in Information Communication Technology (ICT) from around the globe to share innovations and experiences of applying digital technology to development. The exciting 4-day event provided our team with an excellent platform to present and exhibit the Community Health Toolkit (CHT), a global public good to advance Universal Health Coverage (UHC).

On the first day of the conference, our COO Jacqueline Edwards, led a panel presenting on the Community Health Toolkit alongside representatives from D-tree International, who have recently selected the Community Health Toolkit’s Application Framework to develop a community health app for the Ministry of Health in Zanzibar. The panel members facilitated an engaging discussion around the process of developing digital health applications, building an open source community, and the impact of the technology on community health worker programs in Kenya, Uganda, Mali, and Zanzibar. The significance of digital health tools for the accomplishment of UHC was emphasized throughout the discussions. 

At this panel and throughout the event, the Community Health Toolkit was met with an abundance of enthusiasm from attendees. It was applauded for being open source, open access, and collaborative and our team had many productive conversations with individuals interested in learning more. Participants concurred that open source technologies are charting the way forward for scalable and sustainable development solutions.

On the final day of the conference, Medic teammates discussed the need for digital health service providers to work together to enhance system interoperability and to set standards for data collection. As the landscape, needs, and technologies continue to evolve, this type of collaboration will go a long way in lowering barriers to entry and in creating an environment where community health programs can utilize complementary digital tools. Our hope is that the Community Health Toolkit will play a part in paving the way for more industry-wide collaboration in the future.

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