Dimagi and collaborators will present a poster on the following topic at the PHI2008–Envisioning Options for Integrated Public Health Information Systems for Low Resource Settings: Components, Connections, Partners, Strategies:

Title:  A new approach to bridging the gap between ICT software component developers and international development fieldworkers in the health sector

Tremendous innovation is going into the development and implementation of new information and communication technology (ICT) applications for health care in low-income regions, especially in the open source software development community. While these ICT components can have substantial positive impacts on health outcomes, a significant challenge has resulted from the sheer volume of software solutions now available: organizations and institutions working in the health and development sector have a difficult time finding and assessing the utility of a particular software solution and determining how mature, useable, or scalable it may be. Here we present and solicit feedback on eHealth.OurExchange.org as an attempt to address this problem. eHealth.OurExchange.org will provide a dynamic, collaborative, user-friendly website forum where software developers and fieldworkers in the health and development sector can share their successes and failures about the life cycle of various open source software solutions (from development to implementation and evaluation). The goal is to promote communication and synergy between communities using or developing ICTs for health, and avoid wasting time and limited resources on duplicate efforts. eHealth.OurExchange.org can serve these various user groups in a variety of ways:  software developers describing their technologies in detail and getting feedback on how to improve them; health care providers and fieldworkers in international development publishing and extracting “lessons learned” from others in similar positions; and funders and program managers assessing risks and rewards of investing in various kinds of solutions.

Jonathan Jackson1, Heather Zornetzer2,3, Mikhail Elias1, Vinay Seth Mohta4, Aaron Beals4, Katrin Verclas5, and Neal Lesh1

1 Dimagi, Inc. – Boston, MA, USA
2 Sustainable Sciences Institute – Managua, Nicaragua
3 School of Public Health, University of California, Berkeley – Berkeley, CA, USA
4 Global Health Delivery Project – Boston, MA, USA
5 MobileActive.org – New York, NY, USA

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