I am a Faculty member at Indiana University School of Medicine in the Department of Pediatrics, Neonatal-Perinatal medicine section. I am also an international mentor, on behalf of the American Academy of Pediatrics, for a group of newborn care programs called Helping Babies Survive.
Helping Babies Survive (HBS) programs and a coordinated maternal care program, Helping Mothers Survive (Jhpiego), are under the umbrella of the Survive and Thrive Global Developmental Alliance. The Survive and Thrive GDA includes partners such as Amerian Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), USAID, Laerdal Global Health, Save the Children, PATH, and Johnson and Johnson. https://surviveandthrive.org/Pages/default.aspx
As part of my work with the AAP and Survive and Thrive GDA, my small team and I developed an ODK-based mobile phone app for data collection related to Helping Babies Breathe; we conducted successful proof-of-concept testing of the prototype–called mHBB–in Kenya ( pp. 46-47 https://www.msh.org/sites/msh.org/files/2015_08_msh_mhealth_compendium_volume5.pdf )
We are currently involved in a follow-up effort, funded by a different Survive and Thrive GDA partner, to identify potential partners and opportunities for additional development and scale-up of the app, initially within East Africa, and then globally.
I think that LibreHealth might potentially be a terrific partner for additional development of the app, with the immediate short-term goal of scaling up within East Africa (within the next 12-18 months), then, in addition to rolling out within additional African sites, also scaling up in Asian HBS implementation countries such as Bangladesh and India.
Some reasons why I believe that LibreHealth might be an ideal collaborative partner:
–The Survive and Thrive GDA (i.e., key potential funding partners) is keenly interested in this app being further developed using open source technology.
–mHBB/mHBS are being developed according to the Principles for Digital Development, with which the LibreHealth principles and policies are also aligned.
–In addition, a long-range goal for mHBB (now evolving to “mHBS,” to reflect a broader range of functionalities for support of all the HBS curricula), is to integrate with national HMIS systems such as DHIMS2. Some of the data we envison collecting via mHBS would also potentially integrate with iHRIS.
–There is currently a global push, via the Every Newborn Action Plan, toward developing standardized indicators specific to newborn health which, in turn, will be integrated into national health systems (the point above) to strengthen the capacity for national and international partners to capture key metrics related to newborn care. The work/vision of LibreHealth and mHBS align with this WHO-sponsored initiative. To my knowledge, there is not currently another open source community working on this particular aspect of aligning ENAP indicators (still under development) with national HMIS. http://www.who.int/maternal_child_adolescent/documents/newborn-health-indicators/en/
I am wondering if the LibreHealth community might be interested in partnering with me to evolve mHBS to the next level, and beyond, with the goal of creating a collaborative, sustainable, feasible, acceptable, and effective open source platform by which to support the implementation of Helping Babies Survive newborn care programs around the globe. I, myself, am not a programmer…I know absolutely nothing about coding. That is where I need to be scaffolded by the knowledge and expertise of the LibreHealth community.
What I bring to the table is a very deep and broad understanding of the programs and curricula that mHBS is designed to support–I was a member of the Editorial committees for all 3 of the newborn care curricula, and I am a Master Trainer who has conducted these courses all over the world.
Having worked in Kenya and other parts of sub-Saharan Africa for the past 12 years, and as a co-investigator on studies that also have sites in Guatemala, Pakistan, and India, I also have a very good understanding of the LMIC settings where mHBS will need to be deployed when it is scaled.
Through my work with AAP, USAID, WHO, Save the Children, Global Network for Women’s and Children’s Health Research, and the UN Commision for Lifesaving Commodites Technical Working Group on Neonatal Resuscitation, I have a rich and deep network of potential collaborators, donors, and partners at the local, national, and international levels.
Finally, as a note as to potential impact: Helping Babies Breathe, the first HBS program to roll-out in 2010, is currently disseminated in over 80 countries worldwide. The 2 other HBS programs, released in 2014 (Essential Care for Every Baby) and 2015 (Essential Care for Small Babies) are also on track for this rapid, worldwide dissemination. mHBS is purpose-built to be a digital tool to support HBS programs; thus, there is already a “built in market” for mHBS scale-up.
I look forward to our continuing discussion.