Data science is an interdisciplinary field that extracts knowledge and insights using scientific methods, including data mining techniques and machine-learning algorithms. The health sector was one of the slowest to adopt information technologies due to privacy laws; however, with the continuing advancement of technology, consumer expectations and emerging competition, innovation has become critical to numerous successes in the healthcare industry. Nowadays, most healthcare organizations are becoming de facto producers of large volumes of data (either structured or unstructured) in digital form from health information systems (HIS), including electronic medical records (EMR).
Advancement in technology has increased the ability to multiplex measurements on a single sample, resulting in hundreds, thousands or even millions of measurements, leading to big data. “Big data” is a phrase that been used to describe the rapid increase in volume, variety and velocity of information generated, including from the healthcare sector. With this big data, medical professionals are embracing data analytics to create a better patient experience, allowing more immediate and direct access to services and facilitating quicker and more accurate diagnoses and patient management.
Despite the perceived benefits of health data, some major barriers exist, which are both philosophical and practical. To transform medical data into healthcare solutions, many areas need to be addressed, including collection and standardization of datasets, curation of the resultant clean data, prior informed consent for the use of data, and the ability to provide these data back to the communities for further use. Therefore, this webinar explores methods to optimize data generation, collection, analysis and exploitation in the health care sector.
- To assess how data generated in the health care setting can fuel evidence for best practices, inform policy and enhance access to universal health coverage.
- To discuss the potential challenges to adopting data culture in the healthcare industry in Africa.
Thematic areas for discussion will include but not limited to;
- Digitalization of healthcare systems in Africa. Justifying the leap from paper-based records: what works best?
- Ethical, political and legal regulation necessary for the implementation and use of digital technologies in the healthcare sector. What are the potential challenges and avenues for advocacy
- Social and cultural willingness to use digital health tools in developing countries: where are we
- International community
- Non-Governmental Organizations
- Ministries of Health
- Public health experts
Dr Vera Kum
Research Fellow – Economic Affair,
Denis and Lenora Foretia Foundation