The digital revolution has reached even the poorest and most remote areas in the world, exemplified by wide extension of information technologies and the dense cell phones coverage in Africa. Modern digital devices offer an enormous benefit regarding clarity, storage, access, sharing of medical data and information. Appliances have become flexible and operator-friendly and work in on/off mode make it possible to use the system where power or networks are unreliable. These developments can be used beneficially to overcome to build organized, sustainable screening programs.
Digitalization of health records -widely applied in industrialized countries- is still scarcely used in resource-poor settings where health care resources are limited, skills are scarce and infrastructures are unreliable. The current status of electronic health recording in SSA is still very diverse especially regarding extent to health facility level, choice of services for which data is collected, degree of centralization and evaluation of data .
The recent, large and fast scale-up of anti-retroviral therapy in many sub-Saharan countries has shown the need for urgent upgrading of health data recording in order to achieve accurate and efficient program monitoring and evaluation.
We have developed in collaboration with SAP, a worldwide renown software company, an electronic data system which links multi-directionally data sources from communities, health facilities and laboratories. Data is collected and received on PC-tablets using app-based and web-based applications and remote cloud-based storage.