There was a study called Improving Health, Connecting People conducted in 2006 by HealthLink Worldwide, National Institute of Health, and AfriAfya on the role of ICT in health in developing countries. The study was based on the idea the ICT has the potential to be integral to the development of public health and health systems. Something very interesting I found in the paper was its seven conclusions about the use of ICTs in the health sector. The conclusions, while concise, were also very much to the point. The seven conclusions were:
1. Keep the technology simple, relevant, and local.
2. Build on what is there (and being used).
3. Involve users in the design (by demonstrating benefit).
4. Strengthen capacity to use, work with, and develop effective ICTs.
5. Introduce greater monitoring and evaluation, particularly participatory approaches.
6. Include communication strategies in the design of ICT projects.
7. Continue to research and share learning about what works, and what fails.
I think these conclusions are something we should all keep in mind while thinking about the relationship between improving health and building ICT.