This white paper was written for and launched at the eHealth HealthCare Leaders Forum held in Gurgaon, India on the 12th of March, 2015.
In this paper, we discuss e-health in the context of developing countries. We acknowledge that we ourselves have made many of the mistakes that we highlight, and our opinion is based on our learning from these experiences. We make two broad points relating to the development and implementation of Health Information Systems (HIS):
In this paper, we will not delve into too much detail about the general challenges of developing and implementing HIS. We believe that much has been written about this. Instead, we will only describe a few less commonly cited systemic patterns that we have observed when it comes to the development and implementation of HIS for Governments and NGOs in particular.
We have worked on a wide range of e-health projects over the past five years. We follow these simple propositions, based on our experience in the consumer, enterprise and (now) Government and NGO sectors.
* “Throwing deliverables over the wall” is a common problem in the Waterfall methodology of software development. The metaphor speaks of an idea where the receiver of a deliverable has no access to the deliverer, and cheap mechanisms are used to provide feedback on the quality and/or appropriateness of the delivery.
** Open source - In this software, the code is available for modification or enhancement by anyone. Its authors make this available to others who would like to view that code, copy it, learn from it, alter it, or share it. They can do so as long as they let others do the same when they share their work.
*** Agile software development encourages providing feedback and makes processes iterative between the gathering of requirements, analysis, development, testing, and operation of the software. It encourages teams to break down the metaphoric walls described for Waterfall software development.
To view and download the whitepaper, click here.
Disclaimer: The statements and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the positions of Thoughtworks.