WS08: Community health workers and the digital revolution: how is it transforming healthcare?

Context :

The digital age, is the bearer of great changes and potential in the field of community health, especially in low and middle income countries. Smartphones and even “dumbphones” with the all-terrain wireless access they offer, are tools with a tremendous potential for communication, organisation and data collection. Just to name a few examples, they have made vaccination campaigns easier and more efficient, allow for much faster response and organisation in case of emergencies and epidemics. They can be great tools for training and information dissemination. They allow for quick, efficient standardized data collection.

A very large scope of actors are continuously developing and using apps and digital m-health and e-health tools. As ubiquitous low-cost tools with a large reach they offer many possibilities.

Yet one must remain prudent, as these tools aren’t the panacea and cannot replace key competencies, and human relationships. They must be able to integrate local and global realities, taking into account the economic and social realities of vulnerable populations and those that provide them medical services.

This is why it is key to discuss these questions from the point of view of current practices of community health workers, felchers, digital tool creators and users, as well as other community health actors (community leaders and other community health resource persons).


Objectives :

  1. What does it mean to go towards and be in the digital?
  2. What is the impact of the digital on community health?
  3. Advantages and inconveniences of e-health in community health?
  4. What are the limits of these tools?
  5. How have you integrated local realities into conception and use?


Participants :

Gonçalves Johanna MartinUNIGE / EssentialmedSwitzerlandChairman
Kohlbrenner BogomilEPFL / UNIGESwitzerlandChairman
Blas Magaly MUniversidad Peruana Cayetano HerediaPeruMembre
Brazovskii KonstantinSiberian State Medical UniversityRussiMembre
Karua FrasiaAMREFMembre
Muela Joan
Ndjalla AlexandreUniversité Catholique de YaoundéCameroonMembre

WS: Workshop