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10 Global Digital Health Solutions for International Coronavirus Response

By Wayan Vota on March 7, 2020

covid digital health solutions

Global coronavirus infections now exceed 100,000 confirmed cases in 97 countries, with over 3,400 deaths from COVID-19, leading to international travel bans and almost 40 conference cancellations across the international development industry.

Donors like USAID, DFID, World Bank, and Gates Foundation are asking, “What global digital health solutions are available for international COVID response,” that can be implemented by government health systems in low- and middle-income countries?

We asked the Global Digital Health Network – over 4,000 digital health practitioners – for their thoughts on which digital health solutions would be applicable for COVID response in LMICs and received multiple ideas that public health managers can use to mitigate this international communicable disease outbreak.

Add your COVID response solution here!

The responses mainly focused on prevention, diagnosis, and treatment. These digital health solutions could be used to  communicate how to avoid coronavirus infection, understand who might be infected with COVID-19, and track treatment protocols and adherance. They are in addition to artificial intelligence solutions for COVID containment we explored previously.

Digital Health Solutions for COVID Response

Here are the top 10 digital health solutions that LMIC governments could use for coronavirus response, including prevention, containment, and diagnosis of COVID-19.

Donors, governments, and health workers will be using this longer list of 20+ digital health solutions to identify new technologies for deployment to contain the coronavirus. You can add your solution to this list here.

Digital Solutions for COVID Prevention

1. nCoV Surveillance System

The Ministry of Health of Sri Lanka developed a web-based DHIS2 solution to capture information on high risk passengers entering the country from at-risk countries for active COVID-19 surveillance.

nCoV Surveillance System captures demographics, immigration, symptoms of COVID-19 disease, and possible contacts at all ports of entry, for local public health officers, based on their geographic area. From 0-14 days, it captures potential symptoms of COVID-19 disease and any action taken. After 14 days, it captures symptoms of COVID-19 disease and any action taken at the end of the surveillance period.

2. AskNivi Health Messaging

askNivi is a free interactive chat service that makes it easy for people to learn about key health topics and make informed and supported decisions about their health. New conversations were added to share information from the World Health Organization when people began asking questions about COVID-19, and content will be expanded as the coronavirus situation changes.

3. Harmony Data Analysis

Harmony is a rapidly deployable data integration and advanced analytics platform for epidemic surveillance, case management and outbreak response.  LMICs use Harmony to rapidly improve their epidemic surveillance, information management and response capabilities during infectious disease outbreaks.

Mozambique recently used these capabilities to mount an effective, data-driven response to a cholera outbreak which reduced the daily number of new cases in the most affected province from 400 to zero in one month.

Digital Solutions for COVID Diagnosis

4. CommCare Case Management

CommCare is an open-source mobile case management platform used by 700,000 frontline health workers in 60+ countries to track clients through a continuum of service delivery, commodities supply chain, and patient messaging.

CommCare allows non-engineers can build and adapt mobile applications for contact tracing, data collection, decision-support, client tracking, SMS-interaction, and map-based visualizations.

5. NoviGuide Decision Support

NoviGuide is a decision support platform that transforms static guidelines into point-of-care decision trees. Health systems can rapidly deploy guidance, monitor use and remove outdated content.

NoviGuide standardizes care and removes old protocols while capturing where and when clinician’s are accessing guidance. The Dashboard helps visualize clinician concern, an important indicator of disease spread in epidemics where testing is unavailable or limited.

6. Consult Station Medical Booths

Consult Station is a fully connected medical booth that gives providers the ability to remotely examine a patient using medical grade diagnostic instruments.  Health practitioner scan examine and diagnose many more patients without risking contamination of clinicians themselves. Video-based telemedicine and the Consult Station gives remote clinicians to ability to take vitals, examine the heart, lungs and ENT functions for a true remote diagnosis.

Digital Solutions for COVID Treatment

7. mHero Health Worker Communications

mHero is a two-way, mobile phone-based communication system that uses basic text messaging, or SMS, to connect ministries of health and health workers. mHero operates on simple talk-and-text mobile devices—no smartphone or tablet required.

Previously, IntraHealth International developed mHero with the government of Liberia and UNICEF for the Ebola outbreak in Liberia, where over 10,000 people lost their lives. Now, Liberian ministry officials are using mHero to send COVID-19 messages to health workers.

8. Community Health Toolkit

Community Health Toolkit is a global public good that includes open-source technologies for Community Health Workers and supervisors; open-access resources; and a community of practice to advance universal health coverage.

Community Health Toolkit can support Covid-19 response through community & event-based  SMS/USSD check-ins by self-quarantined persons, educational messaging including protective measures for CHWs & communities, referrals & treatment adherence, and data harmonization with other platforms.

9. HealthBeats Remote Monitoring

HealthBeats is a global Remote Vitals Monitoring platform designed to bring healthcare to home. Users can take their vital measurement with results transmitted real-time to care providers.  For people under quarantine, HealthBeats can track temperature, blood oxygen levels, and heart rate with automated and streamlined data collection

More Digital Solutions for COVID Response

10. ____

We left #10 empty for a reason. This list above is just a synopsis of potential solutions. Here is growing corpus of potential digital health solutions for COVID-19 response that we’ve featured on ICTworks:

Technologists, we need your ideas to build a truly comprehensive list of possible digital health solutions. Governments, donors, and implementers, check out the full list of 65+ potential solutions for coronavirus response.

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Written by
Wayan Vota co-founded ICTworks and is the digital lead on the Deloitte for Development team. He also co-founded Technology Salon, MERL Tech, ICTforAg, ICT4Djobs, ICT4Drinks, JadedAid, Kurante, OLPC News and a few other things. Opinions expressed here are his own and do not reflect the position of Deloitte, any of its entities, or any ICTWorks sponsor.
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5 Comments to “10 Global Digital Health Solutions for International Coronavirus Response”

  1. Hello,
    I am writing this message to inquire about adding our Digital Health platform, WelTel, that is currently being deployed for COVID-19 in Canada, UK, Rwanda, Kenya.

    Please let us know where we can share more information.

  2. Daniel says:

    Share this knowledge of technology on ways to safeguard people against COVID-19 with the Kenya Government and Tenwek Mission Hospital