The country of Malawi sits in the southern portion of Africa, and has a population of approximately 17 million people. It is currently facing some serious issues within the public health sector. The fragmented health data system acts as a barrier to both policy makers and health service providers from effectively deploying targeted health resources in order, and improving patient success outcomes.
Digital Impact Alliance reported that the potential that mobile, geospatial, digital, and other types of data have for improving health outcomes is immense. DIAL, in partnership, with Cooper/. Smith intend to showcase the value of utilizing data from Mobile Network Operators (MNOs), population census, settlements mapping and geospatial data to routine patient or aggregate data collected through the Malawi health system. The main user of this data will be the Ministry of Health, Dial will provide capital investments, while Cooper / Smith will support the government for long term use of the MNO data in order to help alleviate some of Malawi’s key health issues. (For the full story click here)
“Big data” is the latest tech buzz-phrase. Depending on who you ask, it may mean different things and it either represents a threat to personal privacy, or a revolution in data processing and computing. The use of data has been prevalent to improve performance and usability in the business sector and has been increasingly used for analysing trends such as in the health industry. At iAID we see many ideas and projects relating to big data in the aid sector, and the question remains – what data, what is the quality of the data and what can you really eventually infer from it. The potential and challenges for mobile data for issues such as health is immense as seen in this great proof of concept by DIAL and cooper/Smith.
-Shachar Zahavi, iAID Co-Founder and C.E.O