Advocating for an expanded mandate of the Global Fund

Founded in 2002, the Global Fund is partnership organisation designed to accelerate the end of AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria as pandemics.  Through continued work with governments, civil society and the private sector, the Global Fund strengthens local health systems and improves communities, by raising money to invest in prevention, treatment and care services [1].

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AccessMod 5

“Supporting Universal Health Coverage by modelling physical accessibility to health care”

AccessMod 5.0 is a World Health Organisation (WHO) tool, a free and open-source standalone software to model how physically accessible existing health services are to the target population, to estimate the part of the target population that would not receive care despite being physically accessible due to shortage of capacity in these services (human or equipment), to measure referral times and distances between health facilities, and to identify where to place new health facilities to increase population coverage through the scaling up analysis [1].

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The evolution of infectious disease surveillance

“We could provide timely, sensitive data on population health”

The 19th century saw the rapid development of sentinel surveillance systems which informed important health policy decisions. In the 20th century, microbiology and computer advances improved disease surveillance and public health communication. Now, in the 21st century, we have access to low cost and quick identification of pathogens. Additionally, we now use big data systems e.g. electronic medical claims which allow us to compare diseases in time and place [1].

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SNAPP: first medical decision-support tool for snake identification

“The first medical decision-support mobile application for snake identification based on artificial intelligence and remote collaborative expertise in herpetology”.

-Snapp team, 2018

Snakebites remain a major problem, as the second neglected tropical killer it accounts for over 100’000 human deaths, and claims 400’000 victims of disability and disfigurement globally every year [1].  Poor and rural communities in developing countries are mostly affected, due to the high diversity of venomous snakes, high burden of snakebites, and limited medical expertise and access to anti-venoms [1].

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Digital divide hampering the proliferation of Teleneurology

nrneurol.2018.31-f1Teleneurology refers to the use of technology to provide neurological care,  ranging from the the use of educational programs and remote monitoring, to the simplicity of  telephone call enabled ambulances. The recent decade has seen a rise in the use of teleneurology, mirrored by the increased research output (see figure 1), most likely deduced to its unique ability to increase access to care, especially in the context of low and middle-income countries  (LMICs)[1]. Following the emergence of telehealth, teleneruology also advocates for the expansion and migration for care delivery from more traditional locations, such as hospitals and clinics to homes and devices – such as mobile phones and wearables. 

“The number of e-mails, phone and video encounters now exceeds the number of in-person clinic visits”

-Dorsey et al, 2018

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A model partnership in transforming health intelligence for the eradication of Malaria

Expose. Explore. Explain. Empower. 

PATH has been involved in Visualise No Malaria  since 2014, an initiative dedicated to eradicate Malaria in Zambia [1] . Visualise No Malaria is a private sector, governmental and social sector collaboration, hoping to transform health intelligence by working together. The dream team is compromised of PATH, Zambia’s Ministry of Health and eight promising tech companies, who with access to better health data already produced a 92% reduction in malaria-related deaths in Southern Zambia [2].

 

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Heart hackers: Cybersecurity as a growing threat to global health

“One of the main cyber-threats is to think they don’t exist.”

With the rise of AI, blockchain and all else tech in health, challenges associated with these technologies have been easily forgotten due to their promising potential. Recent discussion at the Geneva Health Forum 2018 discussed the role of cybersecurity in the sphere of global health, in which  Prof. Jean-Pierre Hubaux of EPFL introduced the concept of security as “the rightful access to data, ensuring access control, availability, audibility and accountability“, whereas privacy was defined as the “rightful use of data following legal imperatives and expressed wishes of the data owner“.  With growing digital footprints, and over 110 million patients in the US having their data compromised in 2015 alone, cybersecurity is rapidly becoming a growing threat to global health [1].

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