Global Health Informatics

Five faculty and more than 10 staff members at VIGH and the Department of Biomedical Informatics directly support Global Health Informatics projects in LMICs. Activities include:


Clinical mHealth Initiatives: With support by AbbVie Foundation, Astra Zeneca, Regenstrief Institute Inc., and Medtronics Foundation, faculty at VIGH helped develop and implement several mobile applications in the Kenyan setting that formed the foundation for the mUzima suite of mobile applications. These applications have been used during screening of over 1 million people for HIV in Western Kenya. The Mobile Clinical Decision Support tools were recognized by the mHealth Alliance / Rockefeller Foundation / UN Foundation as being among the most innovative mHealth Solutions. The mUzima suite of applications is currently being used by community health workers and clinic health providers in Kenya for the care of patients with hypertension and diabetes and will be leveraged for this proposal. mUzima has functionality for data collection, data retrieval, store-and-forward tele-consultation, media management and clinical decision support, among others.

For our Avante Zambezia project for HIV care in Mozambique, we support SMS-based mobile technologies for HIV care and data collection.

Mobile Device Security & Management Solutions: Our team has led the development and implementation of a device-level system (both mobile and server based) to allow organizations to manage mobile device security for large-scale mHealth deployments. This system allows organizations to track the status and ownership of all devices, to remotely wipe data and lock devices when the devices are reported as lost, to detect SIM card changes, and have GPS-based geo-fencing capabilities to disable use of devices outside a particular radius, among other features.

mLearning Initiatives: Our faculty have worked with Kenya’s Ministry of Health to develop an open-source mLearning application for training on the use of chlorhexidine for cord care, leveraging the Moodle platform. We have also spearheaded use of mLearning / eLearning for Health Informatics courses at Moi University.

Other Global Health Informatics Programs

Strengthening Mozambican Capacity in Strategic Information Systems under the President´s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) CDC-GAP (Were, Co-Investigator) 
Under this award VIGH will be subcontracted by UCSF to provide technical assistance to the Mozambican Ministry of Health related to roll-out of its electronic patient tracking system as well as in-country capacity to conduct implementation science research and quality assurance.

Health Informatics Training and Research in East Africa (HI-TRAIN) Norad (QZA-0484: Were, PI)
The goal is to develop capacity for Health Informatics and conduct research in the field in partnership with Makerere University (Uganda) and University of Bergen (Norway)

HIS Evaluation Framework for CDC project HQ Building Effective Health Information Systems under PEPFAR CDC (NU2GGH001449: Were, Co-Investigator)
The HIS Evaluation Framework project is one of three projects within the grant.  Under this project, I-TECH will lead and develop framework and associated tools that decision makes can apply to carry out HIS evaluation, covering all phases: design and piloting, implementation, integration and scalability, and sustained operation. VIGH’s contribution lead by Dr. Were is to provide support in the rigorous evaluation of eHealth, to assist in the generation of evidence, and to promote integration and use of technologies into already existing partner projects.