USAID and KOICA Enhance Health Care Using Samsung e-Tracker Tablets
By Nana Appiah Acquaye, Accra, Ghana
The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) has embarked on digitizing healthcare in rural and hard-to-reach communities in Ghana using electronic touch screen tablets, the e-Tracker.
The initiative which is been carried out across some selected regions in the country is done in collaboration with the Ghana Health Service; the Korean International Cooperation Agency (KOICA); Samsung; and Good Neighbors (a Korean NGO.
In statement available t Biztechafrica, it noted that under the partnership, the e-Tracker—a tablet-based tool which was developed to allow health workers to electronically collect and analyze health records, a transition from manual (paper and pen) to digital records will enable the Ghana Health Service to better manage patient cases and promote efficiency in data management.
According to the statement over 2,590 tablets were handed over to the Ghana Health Service by developing partners for onward distribution to health workers across the Upper East, Eastern, and Volta Regions following the official launch of the e-Tracker. An event gracefully attended by the Ghana Health Service Director General, Dr. Anthony Nsiah-Asare, the U.S. Embassy Deputy Chief of Mission, Melinda Tabler-Stone, the Korean Ambassador, Mr. H.E. Sung Soo Kim; KOICA Country Director, Mr. Yukyum Kim; and the Managing Director of Good Neighbors, Mr. Ilwon Seo.
U.S. Embassy Deputy Chief of Mission, Ms. Tabler-Stone highlighted the challenges that Community Health Officers face: “Daily, they travel from one location to another while encountering difficulties in transportation, attending to numerous patients and carrying heavy register books. The e-tracker initiative seeks to change this paradigm by moving away from manual registers to real-time tablet-based digital registry.”
The e-Tracker aligns with the government’s development agenda to boost the country’s journey toward full digitization. The e-Tracker relies on the District Health Information System, whereby health facilities enter their summary reports into an electronic database. This enables health workers to enter information on a tablet that automatically feeds into the district database; reducing inefficiencies in data capture, recall bias, and inaccurate reporting.
The e-Tracker is an initiative led by Ghana Health Service, with support from USAID, KOICA, and Samsung Under this partnership, USAID has contributed $2,000,000 through technical assistance; while Samsung Corporation has contributed a matching $2,000,000 through the procurement of tablets. KOICA facilitated the collaboration between USAID and Samsung.