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New articles: The BID Initiative featured in MMS Bulletin #148 "Digital Health - A Blessing or Curse for Global Health?"

The BID Initiative is featured in the most recent issue (December 2018) of the MMS Bulletin #148 "Digital Health - A Blessing or Curse for Global Health." "Marrying engineering with health policy to bring digital health to scale," by Steven C. Uggowitzer, Sima C. Newell, Dykki Settle, Alice Liu and David J. Hagan.  Just as medical doctors take the Hippocratic Oath as they graduate into their profession, so do many engineers solemnly promise to carry out work to the highest quality, recognizing that any errors may put lives at stake. Given this sharing of fundamental values, engineering is a profession that could be leveraged even further towards public health information systems to address opportunities created by the fusion of the early and relatively informal eHealth and mHealth paradigms into the more mature and complex one that is Digital Health. Recently, the World Health Assembly (WHA) adopted a key resolution on Digital Health, urging member states to assess and prioritise the scale-up of the implementation of digital technologies towards the “universal access to health for all”(WHA 71.1, 2018). For the full article, visit the MMS Bulletin. "The challenges of implementing a data use culture," by Hassan Mtenga, Dr. Alex Mphuru, Dawn Seymour, and Laurie Werner.  To increase coverage and equity of routine immunization services, the government of Tanzania is strengthening the data use culture through the implementation of a package of data quality and use interventions, including an electronic immunization registry, for immunization service delivery. Three key phases for achieving scale as a government-owned model emerged during the implementation: user-centered design and testing, PATH-led implementation, and government-led implementation with scale-up. A combination of factors contributed to achieving a government-owned model of implementation and ultimately showed significant time and cost savings, as well as greater ownership and ability to sustain and scale the interventions. For the full article, visit the MMS Bulletin. Other articles in the MMS Bulletin #148 can be found here.  

New App of "The Vaccine Handbook" is available

A new app of The Vaccine Handbook is now available from the Immunization Action Coalition. The free app, which is available for Apple iPhones and iPads only, contains the complete 2017 (6th) edition of The Vaccine Handbook (“The Purple Book”), by Dr. Gary Marshall, professor of pediatrics and chief of the Division of Pediatric Infectious Diseases at the University of Louisville. The app is fully searchable, with functionality that includes bookmarking, highlighting, user annotation, and links to important vaccination resources.

"The Purple Book" is a comprehensive source of vaccine information, drawing together vaccine science, guidance, and practice into a user-friendly resource for the private office, public health clinic, academic medical center, classroom, and hospital. The first section provides background on vaccine immunology, development, infrastructure, policy, standards, implementation, special circumstances, and—perhaps most importantly—addressing concerns. The second section contains details about every vaccine currently licensed in the U.S., including the burden and epidemiology of the respective disease, history of the immunization program, vaccine constituents, efficacy, safety, and recommendations.

The free app may be found by searching the iTunes App Store for “The Vaccine Handbook App” or clicking on the following link:
https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/the-vaccine-handbook-app/id1043246009?ls=1&mt=8.

Print copies of the book ($34.95 each; bulk discounts are available from the publisher) can be ordered from the Immunization Action Coalition website at www.immunize.org/vaccine-handbook

2016 immunization data now available from your “Immunization Summaries” App

The Immunization Summary app, which is  great tool initiated by Olivier Beauvais, is now updated and includes data up to 2016. Using the app will  allow you accessing immunization data in a dynamic way, by  generating  visuals (tables, graphs, maps) on schedules, on a selected set of vaccine preventable diseases incidence data, on immunization coverage levels and on various programmatic and systemic indicators (related to policies, activities, management, performance,…). You can download the visuals, send them via email, or even access the underlying raw data. Mainly, these data are reported by WHO & UNICEF member states annually for incidence, coverage and immunization indicators. The app also includes WHO UNICEF estimates of national immunization coverage (WUENIC) , which constitute an independent technical assessment of coverage. The detailed country profiles of WUENIC can be accessed under publication; The app is available in 6 languages (English, French, Spanish, Russian, Chinese and Arabic). For more information on how to use the app,  watch the immunization summary preview at: http://multimedia.who.int/mp4/WHO-TRA_Immunization_surveillance_application_13MAR2014.mp4 Do not Forget to rate the app, and send all your comments and suggestions to vpdata@who.int.

Immunization Summary smart-phone and tablet apps is updated with 2014 data

The fabulous app "Immunization Summary" was updated with 2014 data and in the 6 WHO officials languages. The Immunization Summary is an app for visualizing (tables, graphs, maps) data on policies, activities and impact of national immunization systems. There's a just discovered bug, which is the country name selection needs the English country name to select the country in the appropriate chosen language! Ah well... If you do not know the English name of the country sought, just scroll down the list in the chosen language; there the country names appear in the proper language. When we finalize the JRF 2014 data exercice, sometimes next month, another update will be done on the app. If you already have the app on your device, redownload it from the App store: http://appstore.com/immunizationsummary or Google Play: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.who.immunizationsummary cheers
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Immunization app from Chile

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Cross-posted from GIN with thanks! In October 2014, an immunization app developed by Chile’s National Immunization Programme in collaboration with a local university, was selected to represent the Ministry of Health (MOH) in a national innovation competition. The app InfoVacunas is free and provides users with information about vaccines and the diseases they prevent; the location of vaccination centres using a map tool; and immunization news and information about ongoing campaigns, including frequent Q&A’s about hot topics. It is a tool to help parents (and adults themselves) know what vaccines are due and when, based on the sex and the date of birth of the user. It can send alerts to the user about the due date for each vaccine. Since its launch in April 2014, InfoVacunas has been downloaded by over 4,000 people. In the future, the MOH plans to link this app to the country’s National Immunization Registry. InfoVacunas is representing Chile’s MOH in “Innovation Challenges for the Public Sector 2014” (Desafíos de Innovación para el Sector Público 2014), a a national innovation competition. A web page is available to learn more about this app, and the app itself can be downloaded here: http://apps.gob.cl/apps/infovacunas.html

New Infographic: mHealth improves CHW access to life-saving medicines in Malawi

cStock is a simple mHealth system that helps to ensure community health workers in Malawi have lifesaving products to treat children under five. cStock was originally piloted in 6 districts and 3 of these districts also implemented supporting teams. The greatest benefits were shown in districts with both increased data visibility from cStock and communication from teams. The Enhanced Management approach including cStock and teams is currently being scaled up nationwide. View our new infographic Learn more at http://www.sc4ccm.jsi.com

Immunization Summaries tablet and mobiles app

The Immunization Summary is an app for visualizing data (tables, graphs, maps) on policies, activities and impact of national immunization systems. These data are reported by WHO & UNICEF Member States annually for incidence, coverage, immunization system indicators and vaccination schedules. The WHO-UNICEF estimates of national immunization coverage constitute an independent technical assessment of coverage. Data are available from 1980 to 2012 (as of July 2013) for 195 countries or territories. Data from 1980 to 2013 will be available in July 2014. Please watch the immunization summary preview at: http://multimedia.who.int/mp4/WHO-TRA_Immunization_surveillance_application_13MAR2014.mp4 Do not Forget to rate the app. Please share with us your comments and suggestions.

In pictures: Logistimo in South Sudan

by Ryan McWhorter, Logistimo, and Dan Brigden, PATH To accompany the article “South Sudan deploys new mobile phone-based stock management tool” in this month’s newsletter, project Optimize has published a photo set on Flickr that reveals how the new logistics management information system created by Logistimo is being used by health staff in South Sudan. The photo set illustrates how county stock managers can use the Logistimo application on their mobile phones to review and update vaccine stock levels, order new vaccine stock, and record its arrival. It also shows how state and national managers can use Logistimo to respond to orders submitted by county stock managers, and view vaccine stock availability and consumption data. Access the photo slideshow directly. You can click “Show info” in the top right corner to view/hide photograph descriptions, and click the following button in the bottom right corner to view the slideshow in full-screen mode.

South Sudan deploys new mobile phone-based stock management tool

by Morris Gargar, Consultant; Elly Tumwine, UNICEF; and Ryan McWhorter, Logistimo The Government of the Republic of South Sudan is working with the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and project Optimize to test a cloud-based logistics management information system (LMIS) that uses mobile phones to manage vaccine stock. The new system, named Logistimo, was deployed in May 2012 and is now being used in the central store, the ten state stores, and all six counties of Central Equatoria State. So far, the response from Expanded Programme on Immunization (EPI) staff to the new tool has been positive. “The procedure is very simple and it helps to accelerate our work, with timely response from national level,” says Teresa Adams Deng (EPI Manager, Jonglei State). In recent years, the EPI in South Sudan has made substantial progress in increasing vaccine coverage rates. However, a serious barrier to further progress is the lack of reliable information on stock levels and consumption rates at all levels of the supply chain below the national level. Without this information, stockouts frequently occur because health centers are not resupplied in time. The Logistimo demonstration project in South Sudan aims to evaluate the benefits to immunization programs of more reliable and up-to-date information on stock levels and consumption rates, as well as the feasibility of implementing a mobile-phone based LMIS in remote locations. As part of the demonstration, county stock managers have been provided with mobile phones they can use to register stock transactions and submit orders for additional stock. National or state managers can then use this information to track stock and demand in real-time and analyze consumption patterns. There are several potential benefits to this approach. Being cloud based, the new system does not require investment in computer servers and other information technology infrastructure. This removes logistical barriers to implementation such as purchasing cost and equipment maintenance. Instead, the Logistimo LMIS is hosted on a remote server that can be accessed by a web browser or a mobile phone using general packet radio service (GPRS) or short message service (SMS) technology. Because of this, the system can be quickly scaled up to support additional users, new facilities, or increased stock with minimal additional work or equipment. The Logistimo mobile phone application (LogiMobile) can be used on widely available, low-cost mobile phones, while the application itself requires only two hours of training for the operator to become proficient. Navigating a simple set of menus, county stock ­managers can record vaccine stock levels using only their mobile phone keypad. They can enter how much stock they have at that moment, how much they have issued to patients or to other clinics, or how much has been damaged or expired. The stock update is then sent from the mobile phone to the Logistimo LMIS using a GPRS connection or by SMS text message if GPRS is unavailable. Although it requires a network connection for the operator to register an update, LogiMobile can also work in offline mode by storing updates and sending them as soon as a connection becomes available. It is just as easy for county stock managers to order vaccines. Requests for vaccines are immediately recorded in the Logistimo LMIS for national or state managers to review and approve. To help ensure the request is dealt with promptly, Logistimo can also be configured to automatically send an SMS message to the manager to provide notification of pending orders. When an order is received, state managers can validate and ship those orders using LogiMobile or the browser-based component of Logistimo, named LogiWeb. The system can then notify the county stock manager by sending an SMS text message with details of the manager’s response (for example, “Your order has been processed and will be delivered on 12/12/2012”). When the shipment arrives, the county stock manager can then record the arrival on the mobile phone. Each stage of the process is recorded in the Logistimo system. As well as being used to record stock levels and the progress of orders, the Logistimo LMIS can also be used to guard against stockouts. Should stock levels fall below a minimum level without the county stock manager ordering a new shipment, the Logistimo system can be configured to automatically warn county stock managers of low stock levels. For example, it can send an SMS message to the user with a warning that new stock needs to be ordered. LogiWeb contains all the functionality of LogiMobile, but can also be used to report on stock availability and consumption in real-time across the country. Users can manage their orders, track inventory problems throughout the country, and report on consumption trends to aid in forecasting and procurement. A cloud-based LMIS that uses mobile phones to register stock transactions and submit orders for additional stock has the potential to simplify stock-ordering, saving time currently spent by stock managers preparing and sending paper orders. It also has the potential to make stock data more accessible, enabling state managers to make ordering or dispatch decisions according to reliable and easy-to-understand data in real-time. During the last two months, more than 400 transactions have been entered using the Logistimo system and the project will soon begin collecting data on stockouts, wastage, and service levels across the country. Project Optimize will publish a progress report on the project in early 2013. For more information, please contact Jan Grevendonk (jgrevendonk@path.org). To show the Logistimo LMIS at work in South Sudan, Op.ti.mize has created a photo set on Flickr. View the slideshow here. We encourage your questions or comments. Please click reply at the bottom of the page.
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