In the last decade collaborative networks of providers and experts have arisen to address health issues from Africa to Asia, the Caribbean to South America. This is highlighted by the global response to the earthquake in Haiti, where web-based groups provided significant support alongside national relief organizations and NGOs. We believe this presages a new paradigm in global health: one in which consumers of health information, from patients to providers, have direct access to the """"""""Global-Health Cloud"""""""" and collaborative networks enable efficient development and deployment of health solutions. The convergence of robust digital content and low-cost computing devices will significantly lower the barrier to medical services in resource limited settings. Moreover, the adoption of such technologies in the context of web-enabled interconnectivity can allow a social network of healthcare content developers and consumers to interact in a Global Health Collective, leveraging and connecting knowledge from a distributed network of providers, experts, and developers of health content, information systems and practice management tools. To date, no tool specifically integrates these assets into a simple and efficient virtual space for global health content. Significant technical expertise from engineers and computer scientists has to be combined with knowledge from global health researchers and clinicians, such as physicians, nurses, and pharmacists. Tailoring the knowledge to a particular clinical setting and allowing different modalities of content to be easily retrievable requires expertise that is distributed across different disciplines. To address this, we will train postdoctoral engineers and computer scientists in global health to develop instruments to aggregate open source clinical knowledge, leverage distributed expert networks, and produce a simple application for touch-enabled devices to access these systems. This endeavor will be heavily process oriented, organized around models of sustainability and efficiency that promote integration of clinical care, education and research.

Public Health Relevance

This project will enable the development, maintenance, and distribution of region-specific health-related information for clinical care, clinician education, and public health information. There are currently no open-source toolkits available for this purpose. The project will allow computer science/engineering postdoctoral fellows to enter the field of global health in a meaningful way.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
Fogarty International Center (FIC)
Resource-Related Research Projects (R24)
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Special Emphasis Panel (ZRG1-BDA-N (50))
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Katz, Flora N
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University of California San Diego
Internal Medicine/Medicine
Schools of Medicine
La Jolla
United States
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