Starting in September, I’ve been doing consulting with IntraHealth International‘s Informatics group. I’ve been impressed by the ways that this small group of dedicated people have developed Open Source software infrastructure for increasing the capacity of frontline health workers to do their jobs under tough circumstances. No circumstances — Palestine and Afghanistan perhaps excepted but for different reasons — are tougher than in Liberia during and in the continuing aftermath of the Ebola epidemic.
IntraHealth folks collaborated broadly and quickly to develop a new open source project mHero to create a bidirectional linkage between frontline health workers and ministries of health to help get out information about Ebola and to get information back to the ministry.
Largely because of IntraHealth’s strategy of developing increased capacity in both ministries and workers, and because the software and culture takes advantage of open source principles for remix and resuse, the ministry workers in Liberia found ways that mHero could be used in the diverse areas of mental health and in Information, Communications and Technology evaluation.
I just wrote about this work in detail for Open Source dot Com in an article Open source app takes on Ebola and mental health in Liberia. Check it out.