IBM has proposed a more secure, intelligent and effective National eHealth System, where information would be stored, analyzed and accessed in a digital cloud and built on the IBM Mainframe, allowing for deep analysis and reliable, mobile access to critical insights. Continuing work on this project is expected to be taken up by the IBM Research – Africa lab’s Mainframe in collaboration with the IBM Research facility in Haifa, Israel.
This is expected to help improve critical public health and workforce development in the three countries.
IBM also deployed 42 IBM specialists who have been working with national and local government agencies on blueprints to embrace cutting edge methodologies to streamline and automate the operations of local and national agencies.
The experts helped officers in Ghana analyze data in the digital cloud to predict the results of healthcare policies, then provide mechanisms for implementing those policies. This is expected to help allocate limited resources to reduce the country’s high rate of mother-to-child HIV transmission to 5% by 2018, and to less than 1% by 2020.
In Ghana, testing for HIV during pregnancy is currently deferred due to a lack of public awareness, limited access to diagnostic tests, and cultural stigmas but working with the Yale University and the ONE Campaign, the IBM team designed a plan for managing an awareness and disease elimination campaign at the community, district and national levels.
Meanwhile, in Kenya, over 50 students and software developers were trianed at Strathmore University’s iLab Africa on the latest software application development, project management, product development and commercialization skills, aimed at supporting enhance youth employment under the IBM’s Africa Skills Initiative.
Apart from cloud, big data analytics and mobile computing skills, the youth were also trained to develop mobile apps on IBM’s Bluemix to address real-life African grand challenges pertaining to agriculture, security, micro-finance and vehicular traffic and also introduced to the “Internet of Things.”
In Morocco worked with Ibn Rochd Hospital, one of the country’s biggest such institutions, to define a plan to ensure that the right medicines are readily available to patients at the right time. The IBM experts recommended that the hospital incorporate “business process management” into its pharmacy operations, a philosophy that many successful for-profit commercial enterprises have adopted.
The Moroccan Association for the Fight against AIDS also called for a more centralized process of storing, sharing and quickly analyzing large amounts of data. The IBM team there also suggested the integration of social media to broaden stakeholder engagement and education.