Fondation Pierre Fabre

Main beneficiary countries:
Afghanistan - Tajikistan - Pakistan - Kyrgyzstan

About the sponsor

Aga Khan Development Network eHealth Resource Centre

The Aga Khan Development Network eHealth Resource Centre (AKDN eHRC) drives improvements in access, quality, cost, efficiency and safety of health care through Information and Communication Technologies (ICT). AKDN eHRC supports its clients’ service delivery and research projects in Asia and Africa and promotes capacity building initiatives to benefit health care providers. Through its Innovation Lab, the Centre ideates, develops and tests high-impact, low-cost, innovative health care products. Leveraging the exponential growth in mobile technology, AKDN eHRC focuses on mobile application development to address health issues prevalent in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs). The Centre develops and implements mHealth apps to create awareness in target populations, streamline processes and empower governments to monitor their health care system. The aim is to strengthen health systems and improve health outcomes of poor and medically underserved communities. The Centre has developed its first online certificate course in eHealth. The course consists of 10 modules on various eHealth topics and a capstone module. It is designed to build the eHealth capacity of students and professionals from the health care sector and help them implement effective eHealth programmes in LMICs. The course was offered to AKDN members in 2015 and has opened to a global audience in 2016.

Sector: Organizational: Communities, public authorities, NGOs, associations, foundations, etc.

Country of origin: Pakistan

The organisation has:

0
Full-Time Equivalent
25
Employees
3
Volunteers
1
Service provider

Initiative overview

Healthcare themes targeted

  • Mother and child health
  • Primary healthcare
  • Infectious diseases
  • Sexual and reproductive health
  • Chronic diseases
  • Cardiovascular illnesses
  • Oral health
  • Dermatology
  • Mental health
  • Ophthalmology
  • Emergency services

Stage of development:

  • Routine project/operational

Area where initiative is utilised

  • International (in several countries)

Initiative start date

  • 06/20/2007

Financing

Financing method

  • Public (grant/subsidies, call for proposals/call for tender, etc.)
  • Private (private investors, crowdfunding, philanthropy, etc.)
  • NGO
  • Government agency (i.e AFD, USAID, etc.)
  • Intergovernmental or international agency

Economic model(s)

  • Revenue generated by the beneficiaries/healthcare facilities
  • Subsidies
  • Donations

About the initiative

Communities living in remote and isolated regions of South-Central Asia lack access to specialists and to quality health care services. Health care is either very basic or absent. These rural regions are marked by harsh weather conditions and rugged terrain with deep valleys, rivers and high mountains, making life challenging for villagers. The only alternative for patients seeking quality health care is to travel long distances - across lakes in boats and through mountainous areas - to nearby cities, where specialists are available. Many a times, travel is hindered by the severe weather conditions, especially in the winter. Avalanches and landslides are also common. Often, delays in medical care lead to complications, deteriorating medical conditions, sometimes even lead to death. During travel, patients spend a lot of time, energy and money to travel to avail health care services in nearby cities, burdening them with unnecessary expenses. The AKDN eHealth Programme works to address three major barriers to health care – access, quality and cost – in low-resource settings via Internet and Communication Technologies.

The Programme uses eHealth to aid the provision of high-quality, low cost, equitable health care. This encompasses making health care accessible to communities, of particular importance in remote and rural areas, with reduced access to health care services by delivering cost-effective health care through live (synchronous) and store-and-forward (asynchronous) teleconsultations. Health care providers also benefit under the Programme through eLearning. The adoption of eLearning aims to build clinical and management capacities of health care providers, enhance their ability to deliver care and manage services, and ultimately strengthen health care systems. In remote areas, where resources are limited, eLearning can aid continuing professional development when health care professionals are unable to undertake time-consuming and costly travel to attend courses.

The Aga Khan Development Network (AKDN) has been operating an eHealth Programme in South and Central Asia since 2007. The Programme leverages the potential of Information and Communication Technologies to link health institutions and health providers within and across Afghanistan, Kyrgyz Republic, Pakistan and Tajikistan. It provides comprehensive and coordinated care to communities and minimizes the barriers of distance and time, creating a robust and integrated health care system. The AKDN eHealth Programme supports the operations of health care facilities that are owned by AKDN, owned by the government but managed by AKDN, or owned and managed by the government in Asia. The Programme uses eHealth to aid the provision of high-quality, low cost, equitable health care. This encompasses making health care accessible to communitieswith reduced access to health care services by delivering cost-effective health care through live (synchronous) and store-and-forward (asynchronous) teleconsultations. These include diagnostic services in teleradiology, telepathology and teleopthalmology and cover various specialties, including obstetrics and gynaecology, paediatric neurology and psychiatry. Health care providers also benefit under the Programme through eLearning. The adoption of eLearning aims to build clinical and management capacities of health care providers, enhance their ability to deliver care and manage services and reduces professional isolation. In remote areas, where resources are limited, eLearning can aid continuing professional development when health care professionals are unable to undertake time-consuming and costly travel to attend courses. eHealth activities first started in Afghanistan when the French Medical Institute for Children in Kabul was connected to the Aga Khan University Hospital, Karachi in Pakistan for teleradiology services in 2007. Since then, it has expanded into a network of 31 sites across 4 countries in in Asia. In 2014, the AKDN eHealth Programme was recognized for its contribution to eHealth when it won the Manthan Award in eHealth. The award recognises the best use of Information and Communication Technologies and digital tools to create holistic and comprehensive impact on people in South Asia and Asia Pacific.

Fields of application:

Health professional training - Telemedicine (remote diagnosis and consultations) - Information, education and communication for behaviour change (IEC)

Target audience

  • Healthcare professionals and structures (hospitals, healthcare centres/clinics, health networks)
  • Entire population
  • Sick people
  • Dependents/persons with disabilities
  • Pregnant women
  • Children - adolescents (ages 6-18)
  • Young children (0-5 years)
  • Patient family/entourage

Initiative objectives

  • Decreased mortality
  • Decreased morbidity
  • Reduced suffering
  • Improved treatment

Key figures

39000 Number of beneficiaries since launch

Materials used

  • Tablet
  • Computer
  • Connected objects

Technologies used

  • Mobile telecommunications (without data connection)
  • Internet
  • Mobile app (Android, iOS, Windows Phone, HTML5, etc.)

Offline use

No

Open Source

Yes

Open Data

No

Independent evaluation

Yes
evaluated independently

Partners

Aga Khan Foundation, Kyrgyz Republic

Organizational: Communities, public authorities, NGOs, associations, foundations, etc.

Aga Khan Health Service, Pakistan

Health: Healthcare professionals and structures

French Medical Institute for Children

Health: Healthcare professionals and structures

Aga Khan Health Service, Afghanistan;

Health: Healthcare professionals and structures

Partners

Collaborators

startupBrics