Information Systems

Robust health system performance depends on adequate information and communications technology (ICT) support. VillageReach defines requirements for and conducts evaluations of ICT systems, and develops personnel voice & data communications solutions and health information systems that help increase health worker capacity and improve health system efficiency.

VillageReach’s use of Internet and mobile application technologies provides health systems with critical support for personnel to ensure effective information capture and reporting. VillageReach develops and deploys impactful and sustainable ICT solutions that are:

  • Internet-enabled – to allow for data visibility and broad information share across frontline health personnel and health system management;
  • Platform- and device-independent – to facilitate low-cost solutions by leveraging competitively priced phones and mobile computing devices; and
  • Open-standards based – for greater interoperability, a critical feature for data exchange and effective visibility throughout health information systems.

Our expertise covers ICT support evaluation and response; applications development and device support for personnel voice and data communications; health information system evaluation and design; training for health system personnel, plus technical assistance and supportive supervision in support of program management.

Initiatives & Projects

The scope of VillageReach’s involvement in information systems development and application is broad. Select from the initiatives and projects, below, to find out more.

ODK»

OpenLMIS»

For more information on VillageReach’s information and communications technology capabilities, please click here.

For more information on our leadership, click here.

For more information on our experience, click here.

VillageReach and the University of Washington Computer Science & Engineering Department are collaborating to develop and test ODK Scan (formerly named mScan), a mobile device application that scans images using computer vision to automate the capture and processing of paper data forms. The initial phase of the project is supported by a Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation Grand Challenges Explorations Grant. The application is supported by the Android mobile operating system and applications development environment that leverages a growing number of device manufacturers producing smartphones, tablets and other connected devices.

ODK Scan has broad potential to transform paper-based data collection into a scalable digital system that significantly lowers time and cost for data capture, produces more reliable data from the last mile, and provides quick access to data to enable critical decision making by stakeholders at all levels in healthcare delivery.

For more information on the Grand Challenges Explorations Grant, see here.

For information on the University of Washington’s involvement in this project, see here.

See this paper, Digitizing Paper Forms with Mobile Imaging Technologies, written in collaboration with the University of Washington.

Click on this image to see a demonstration of the ODK Scan application.

mScan image

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OpenLMIS is a community-focused initiative to develop open source electronic logistics management information systems (eLMIS) for healthcare in low-income countries. The initiative  provides an environment where eLMIS software modules and datasets (from both newly developed code and existing systems) are made available in a public repository.

OpenLMIS is a powerful logistics management information management system (LMIS), purpose-built to manage medical commodity supply chain.­­

The initiative improves on the legacy medical commodity distribution systems that often rely on multiple, fragmented information systems focused on isolated layers of a supply chain: less emphasis has been placed on ensuring that information flows between supply chain layers, from the national store to the service delivery point. In addition, the growing number of medical commodity programs being implemented in low-income countries is increasing distribution complexity. As a result, health systems in many low-income countries continue to experience poor supply chain performance.

Healthcare commodities decision makers need access to commodity requirements, data on the movement of commodities, and an real-time view of the availability of commodities at multiple levels throughout the supply chain. In addition, they need the ability to design, monitor, and implement multiple programs supporting various national mandates.

OpenLMIS fulfills these requirements, with:

  • support for real-time management of all health commodities from point of origin to point of delivery;
  • adaptation to the unique requirements of each country;
  • interoperability with other medical information systems (e.g., warehouse management systems, medical record systems, health management information systems, laboratory information management systems); and
  • data collection in even low-infrastructure environments for review, aggregation, analysis and forecasting.

When deployed, the OpenLMIS platform provides routine data to support evidence-based decision making. Examples include:

  • quantify current commodity needs and forecast future needs;
  • identify atypical or abnormal patterns in consumption, stock-outs or losses;
  • estimate stock levels at facilities over time to anticipate and address shortages;
  • develop practical approaches to rationing commodities in short supply;
  • videntify bottlenecks in supply chain performance;
  • identify and monitor high and low performing facilities, districts or regions; and
  • display key performance indicators for use with decision-makers throughout the supply chain.

OpenLMIS Collaborators

For more information, visit the OpenLMIS website.

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