South African Programme
Jembi SAMRC Collaborating Centre in Digital Health Innovation
Project Time Frame:
March 2018 - Present
The South African Medical Research Council (SAMRC) in partnership with Jembi Health Systems has established the Jembi SAMRC Collaborating Centre for Digital Health Innovation (CCDHI) to promote research, innovation and collaboration in the area of digital health, focusing on the public health sector in South Africa.
Facilitating technical knowledge to support effective digital health research and implementation
A collaborative network of digital health implementers and researchers
Assist in developing health capacity by supervising MRC students interested in digital health studies
The CCDHI was launched in March of 2018 to support MRC units in the management of digital health objectives and to promote collaboration between organisations working in the area of digital health in South Africa. The CDDHI took over responsibility for several NDOH and MRC managed mHealth apps, including the Essential Medicines List (EML) as well as the national HIV and TB Guideline apps.
Digital health is a hotbed of innovation and holds much promise to contribute fundamentally to strengthening health service delivery in South Africa and other low resource settings. The SAMRC and Jembi have contributed significantly to digital health over the past decade and the Collaborating Centre will combine the strengths of the two organizations to continue this work. Mobile health will be one of the initial focal areas for the Collaborating Centre, which is presently developing a mobile health platform to harmonize mobile app development and data sharing without compromising patient privacy.
The mobile health platform is being built to ensure health information is interoperable across mobile systems and based on an architecture that is fully supported and integrated with the current NDOH eHealth solution i.e. the Health Normative Standards Framework (HNSF). The HNSF prescribes the enterprise architecture, protocols and standards for public health information exchange. Building on these standards, the NDOH, with support from the Jembi SAMRC Collaborating Centre and the CSIR Meraka Institute, are developing an extension to the current HNSF to propose the inclusion of mHealth as a key component to the NDOH eHealth architecture.
The Jembi SAMRC Collaborating Centre will reach out and form relationships with partners from all spheres that have potential impact on digital health systems strengthening, including government, tertiary institutes, research institutes, industry and the private sector.