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10 Digital Health Technology Solutions for Global COVID-19 Response

By Wayan Vota on March 11, 2020

covid digital health solutions

Global coronavirus infections now exceed 120,000 confirmed cases in 119 countries, with over 4.300 deaths from COVID-19. There are also more than 66,500 people who have fully recovered from this disease.

Donors including USAID, DFID, World Bank, and Gates Foundation have pledged more than $8.3 billion in financial assistance to the WHO and low- and middle-income countries to support international COVID response.

COVID Response Workshop

The Global Digital Health Network, JSI, and IntraHealth International are organizing a COVID Response Workshop to understand the requirements and needs of health systems to respond to the novel coronavirus and which digital health solutions are available for government health systems in LMICs.

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At the online workshop, we will have four Challenges Breakout Sessions where working groups will dive into current Surveillance, Prevention. Diagnosis, and Treatment issues faced by health systems and develop uses cases faced by four different cadres of people: Client, Provider, Manager, Policy Maker.

These use cases will help governments, donors, and health workers understand which digital health application would be the best solution for their context.

COVID Response Digital Health Solutions

We are developing a list of digital health solutions that could be used (or are already being used) to contain the coronavirus. The public solutions spreadsheet is for donors, governments, and health workers to identify new technologies for deployment to contain the coronavirus.

We are using the list right now to highlight solutions on ICTworks and in the COVID Response Workshop that can be employed by health systems to survey populations for the corona virus, communicate how to avoid coronavirus infection, understand who might be infected with COVID-19, and track treatment protocols and adherence.

Here are more COVID response global digital health solutions that build on our previous lists of potential solutions:

Digital Solutions for COVID Surveillance

1. Health Check

Health Check allows travelers to report on their symptoms through automated calls with an Interactive Voice Response (IVR) system. Health agencies can then periodically and automatically monitor the symptoms and wellbeing of at-risk individuals.

2. Safiri Smart

Safiri Smart is a disease and epidemic surveillance and awareness system that uses USSD to alert Safaricom subscribers of disease and epidemics via their mobile phones. Users who travel to areas with ongoing epidemics will receive Kenyan Ministry of Health information as soon as they travel to the affected region.

Digital Solutions for COVID Prevention

3. HealthAlert

HealthAlert is a WhatsApp-based helpline to disseminates accurate and timely information about COVID-19 from the National Department of Health to the South African public. It includes a helpdesk with automated response and triage to answer users queries and real-time data insights for national policy decisions.

4. Interactive FM Radio

Interactive radio that pairs AM and FM radio broadcasts with mobile phone responses is a proven methodology for reaching rural and remote communities at scale in local languages, to increase knowledge, change attitudes and practices. Interactive radio interventions can answer listeners’ questions, offer information, allay fears, dispel myths, and survey listeners attitudes.

5. Inclusive eLearning

Inclusive eLearning meets individuals with intellectual disabilities at their level of engagement and supports prevention efforts by educating everyone on good hygiene practices. The Coronavirus Outbreak: What You Need to Know eLearning Module will be deployed on March 16th, to educate the entire Special Olympics community about COVID-19 prevention strategies.

Digital Solutions for COVID Diagnosis

6. Triage CheckUp

Triage CheckUp is an automated risk assessment application for health workers that can check a patient’s symptoms and epidemiological factors using Korean coronavirus guidelines for front line triage, and will soon be available in English, Korean, French and Vietnamese. A companion application, Diagnosis CheckUp is a self-reporting tool for the general public to assess their risk factors for coronavirus infection.

7. NoviGuide

NoviGuide is a decision support platform that transforms static guidelines into point-of-care decision trees for health systems to rapidly new deploy guidance and monitor use. It’s dashboard helps visualize clinician concern, an important indicator of disease spread in epidemics where testing is unavailable or limited.

8. OpenELIS Global

OpenELIS Global is an open source enterprise-level laboratory information system tailored for LMIC public health laboratories that uses HL7 open standards. OpenELIS lab information system can help with the receipt and tracking of of potential COVID19 samples, assisting labs to process them effectively, and report back findings to clinicians.

Digital Solutions for COVID Treatment

9. WelTel

WelTel is a secure, web-based, communication platform that uses SMS for maximum reach and voice or video outreach when appropriate for integrated virtual care & patient engagement. Cases and their contacts can be connected to healthcare providers with data captured in a secure, consolidated database for real-time monitoring and epidemiological evaluation.

More Digital Solutions for COVID Response

10. ____

We left #10 empty for a reason. This list above is just a synopsis of potential solutions. 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 Health Director at IntraHealth International. 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 IntraHealth International or other ICTWorks sponsors.
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3 Comments to “10 Digital Health Technology Solutions for Global COVID-19 Response”

  1. Arrihab Infortech Associate says:

    Dear Sir/Ma,

    Arriahb Infortech is not for Profit Organization working in the area of ICT4D, we are planning to pilot the automation of hospital system to improve quality services delivery, tracking of various activities in the hospital which will support decision making. we are looking for funding to support this pilot which in turn will be scale up to support Zamfara state governent.

    Thank you and looking forward to hear from you.

  2. Kevin abungu says:

    Afyaplus – Not funded at all from Africa Nairobi Kenya. A web App, ussd based, communication tool & platform that uses sms,application, video and later AI if funded to maximum reach and voice or video outreach..Utilises the ability to provide quick 24/7 emergency response to anyone in accessible to such , quick notes and information to the medical practioners, when appropriate for integrated virtual care & patient engagement. Cases and their contacts can be connected to healthcare providers with data captured in a secure, consolidated database for real-time monitoring and epidemiological evaluation..all we need is the ability to increase

  3. BenMuller says:

    Hey Wayan Vota, Thanks for sharing some digital health solutions to prevent and Surveillance COVID-19. Using this digital health doctor asks the patient to answer a triage which helps them to get the patient health insights. And also help users to easily reach the help desk.

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