Tuesday, December 01, 2009

Global Health Delivery 2.0: Using Open-Access Technologies

In the Magazine section of this week's issue of PLoS Medicine, Duncan Maru and colleagues at Nyaya Health in Achham, Nepal, highlight the problem of transparency and operations research in the growing field of global health delivery in resource limited settings. Their organization implemented several simple Web 2.0 strategies while delivering medical and public health services in rural Nepal. Drawing on this experience, the authors describe how Web 2.0 technologies including software that allows for rapid, Internet-based collaboration among multiple users can improve transparency among organizations participating in global health delivery. The platforms include quantitative outcomes data and logistics protocols on a wiki; an open-access, online de-identified patient database; geospatial data analysis through real-time maps; a blog; and a public line-by-line online budget. The authors emphasize that such strategies have recently been deployed extensively in resource-rich areas, but have not yet been implemented widely in resource-limited settings, where they would prove effective.

Maru DS-R, Sharma A, Andrews J, Basu S, Thapa J, et al. (2009) Global Health Delivery 2.0: Using Open-Access Technologies for Transparency and Operations Research. PLoS Med 6(12): e1000158. doi:10.1371/journal.pmed.1000158