Join Us at the Global Digital Health Forum 2019

This year, the number of sessions at the Global Digital Health Forum has more than doubled, with eight members of Dimagi’s team scheduled to present on a wide range of digital health topics. There’s still time to register here to come learn how digital tools are shaping the landscape of healthcare around the world.

Here are the sessions we’ll be participating in this year:

Narrowing the Gap: Why National Digital Health Strategies Are Still Losing to Digital Health Projects [link] – Jonathan Jackson, CEO & Gillian Javetski, Chief of Staff

As more countries develop national digital health strategies, project funding mechanisms are aligning these strategies to their own work plans. The 2019 WHO Joint Declaration on Digital Health for Sustainable Development noted the importance of this effort, while the Principles of Donor Alignment for Digital Health recognizes the “essential and urgent need for donors to align their investments to country digital health strategies.” Yet even as digital health projects are aligning to national strategies, organizations are still funded to achieve project goals, not national goals. Join this workshop for an honest, open discussion about what is needed to create systems change for organizations to break through project-specific mandates in deploying digital health programs.

Get used to Scope without Scale until Digital Development is willing to fund Scale without Scope” [link] – Clayton Sims, CTO

In the last 5 years, ministries, donors, and implementers have united behind a rallying cry: To move digital development beyond “pilotitis” into proven, sustained impact at scale. In this session, Dimagi’s CTO Clayton Sims will be joining leaders from DHIS2 and ODK to discuss how obstacles and gaps each have faced in scaling their leading open source products, and how shifts in donor expectations along with changes to the principles for approaching development can better prepare technology programs for long term success and autonomy.

Total Cost of Ownership at Scale – Budgeting to reach 200,000,000 beneficiaries with an ICT solution in India [link] – Lily Olson, Director of Partnerships, Americas

Over the past few years, Dimagi has worked with the Government of India to deploy ICDS-CAS, a digital health system built on the CommCare platform, to more than 500,000 nutrition workers. The nutrition workers active on the application span eight states in India and submit around 2 million forms a day for the 300,000,000 beneficiaries currently registered in the system. This radical scale-up represents an absolute departure for the mobile health sector where funding limitations and implementation challenges have historically limited the size of most projects. In this session we explore the costs associated with scaling a digital health solution to 500,000 users, considering the vast sums required for servers, hardware, training, and technical support, and comparing our budget estimate at the project’s inception to our total spend to date to identify the biggest budgetary surprises and mistakes.

Digital technology at the intersection of animal and human health [link] – Mohini Bhavasar, Senior Business Development Director

This session describes an agriculture extension program that transformed business management processes of 434 smallholder cooperatives growing rice, maize and millet crops in Senegal through the use of smartphone applications. For the Naatal Mbay program, RTI and Dimagi built CommAgri, an application that replaced the paper-based data collection systems used by farmer networks. CommAgri facilitates the management of 75,000 detailed farmer profiles, their seasonal activities, crop monitoring, and harvest and yield assessments. Additional modules support credit tracking, inventory management, area mapping, and crop production and financial health measurements. Dimagi and RTI are testing sustainable business model approaches to ensure CommAgri and its services can be sustainable through innovative cost recovery mechanisms.

What does it really cost to develop global digital health goods? [link] – Jonathan Jackson, CEO

We are all rightly excited about the development of Global Digital Health Goods that can support developing countries improve their health systems. We can also be excited about new efforts like the Principles of Donor Alignment for Digital Health to support the development of these Global Goods. However, what does it really cost to develop a Global Good? And what are the ongoing maintenance and support efforts needed to ensure these Global Goods sustain their impact over time? Dimagi CEO Jonathan Jackson will be joining other leaders from OpenMRS and iHRIS to discuss new research from USAID and the Boston Consulting Group.

#OfflineWorst [link] – Clayton Sims, CTO

When your music app asks you to log in to go online, then tells you you need to be in online mode to log in? That’s #offlineworst. In the last 5 years, the digital tools that support development have made huge strides in their maturity. Many teams have had the time to invest in modern UI, making it feel like the software in our market is “catching up.” It can be easy to forget that these apps are solving technical challenges like asynchronous offline transaction management that are seriously hard. So hard, in fact, that large and well-financed consumer software teams mostly avoid even attempting to address them. When they do, the results are often equal parts frustrating and comical. In this light-hearted talk we will review the at-times kafkaesque outcomes that have arisen from popular consumer software’s attempts to implement requirements that are foundational to the most basic software tools used in our field.

Leveraging Private Sector Champions for Public Sector Impact [link] – Molly Canty, Project Manager

With funding from the Human Development Innovation Fund (HDIF), Dimagi implemented mLabour in eight private health facilities in Tanzania from July 2016 – January 2019. mLabour is a digital decision-support tool that helps skilled birth attendants to deliver timely and efficient evidence-based intrapartum care in low-resource settings and to quickly identify women and newborns needing closer monitoring. In this session, Dimagi will share the private sector approach designed for mLabour in Tanzania under HDIF, as well as the results of the market assessment conducted with Saatva, which will be released at the end of September

Appy Hour [link] – Kat Virta, Senior Partnerships Associate

Following Molly’s “Leverage Private Sector Champions for Public Sector Impact” presentation of mLabour, Kat Virta will be demoing Dimagi’s mLabour tool. In this session, she will be showcasing the ways the app improves usability for frontline workers, reduces data errors, and increases the efficiency of analysis. In addition to the demonstration of mLabour, we will have copies of the mLabour infographic, written and designed in collaboration with FHI 360. This document features visuals and workflows, and highlights key pieces of evidence that have been generated through rigorous studies in India and Tanzania.

Poster Session [link] – Erin Quinn, Customer Success Manager

Customer Success Manager Erin Quinn will be presenting a poster about mobile-Palliative Care Link (mPCL), the first digital health app in Tanzania to address palliative cancer care. She will share how the mobile application has been shown to improve symptom control and information exchange among specialists and local health workers treating late-stage cancer patients. 

Improving access to and quality of care using digital technologies [link] – Mohini Bhavasar, Senior Business Development Director

In this session, Dimagi Senior Business Development Director Mohini Bhavasar will share lessons from the 6-year journey of piloting to nationally scaling an eLMIS system for Senegal called “Yeksi-Naa.” Yeksi-Naa is transforming the supply chain system in Senegal through improved system design by moving to sending commodities to facilities (“push”), outsourcing distribution from public to third party logisticians (3PLs), enhancing real-time data visibility using tablet-based eLMIS (i.e. CommCare), and increasing financial viability by moving to post-consumption payments by health facilities. CommCare is used at national scale for distribution of 118 essential medicines at 1,446 supply points in the country, covering public supply chains, including Malaria, HIV, Tuberculosis among other essential medicines, with a plan to achieve a full transition to the government by August 2019.

If you’re looking for even more fun, we’re co-hosting a Happy Hour with BroadReach after the first day of the conference. Join us on December 9th from 8-11pm at Owen’s Ordinary in Bethesda. RSVP here or just swing by!



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