April Monthly Meeting

The Global Digital Health Network April monthly meeting will focus on the impact and efficiency of national digital health information systems, highlighting lessons from Kenya and Ethiopia.

When: April 28, 2022, 10:00 AM Eastern Time (US and Canada)




National digital health information systems present opportunities at every level of the health system, and in connecting those levels for greater impact and efficiency. Today we have impressive, digitalized tools for remote diagnostics, mobile data entry, algorithm supported referral, and telemedicine response. Such tools have the potential to improve equity of service coverage, stratify risk for prioritization of life saving services, leapfrog some logistical barriers to service, and build efficiency. However, many challenges remain – some old, and some new. Infrastructural requirements like power, connectivity and human resources remain relevant, while new challenges like fit-for-purpose system interoperability continue to be complex endeavors.

This webinar will take an in-depth look at these opportunities and challenges, focused on recent initiatives in Ethiopia and Kenya. In Ethiopia the Ministry of Health has a clear digital health strategy, and has begun constructing components reaching out to communities. World Vision, together with HOPS Healthcare, has piloted a mobile telemedicine kit that includes integrated medical devices such as blood pressure and ultrasound to improve access to prenatal screening for pregnant women in remote communities. The platform allowed for remote mentoring and oversight of midwives from gynecologists and radiologists from the University of Bahir Dar Hospital – a valuable feature when the COVID-19 pandemic introduced significant mobility restrictions. The overall goal of the project was to contribute to improved referral and management of high-risk pregnancies in Ethiopia. World Vision is now partnering with Philips and the Ethiopia MOH to integrate best practices from the two pilot projects within the current MOH digital framework.  This includes tackling issues around system interoperability and sustainability. 

Our panel will include a representative of the Ethiopia FMOH to speak about Ethiopia’s digital health strategy, successes and challenges. A second FMOH representative will speak about the impact of mobile diagnostics, risk stratification and referrals on maternal and newborn health in Ethiopia. A World Vision health expert will speak about their experience piloting mobile diagnostic and referral tools in Ethiopia. And a Philips representative will speak about similar piloting in Kenya, and their perspective on scaling end-to-end digital solutions.

Key questions leading this discussion will include:

  • What kinds of impact can these systems achieve with disadvantaged communities?
  • What are the pre-requisites for end-to-end digital health system success in improving service reach and equity?
  • How can health systems build solutions in an integrative manner?

Moderator: Abena Thomas, MEAL Lead World Vision/Canada


  • Anteneh Kinfe, Electronic Community Health Information System (eCHIS) Expert Federal Ministry of Health Ethiopia
  • Dr Mulat Adefris AdefrisMNCH Department Advisor to Federal Ministry of Health Ethiopia
  • Belay Haffa, MNCH Tech Specialist World Vision Ethiopia
  • Melani O’Leary, Health Technical Specialist World Vision/Canada
  • Ties Kroezen, Venture leader Connected Primary Care Solutions, Philips