Chapter

Foundations of Health Informatics Engineering and Systems

Volume 7151 of the series Lecture Notes in Computer Science pp 129-139

Position Paper: Researching and Developing Open Architectures for National Health Information Systems in Developing African Countries

  • Deshendran MoodleyAffiliated withLancaster UniversityCarnegie Mellon UniversitySchool of Computer Science, University of KwaZulu-NatalJembi Health SystemsUKZN/CSIR Meraka Centre for Artificial Intelligence Research
  • , Anban W. PillayAffiliated withLancaster UniversityCarnegie Mellon UniversitySchool of Computer Science, University of KwaZulu-NatalUKZN/CSIR Meraka Centre for Artificial Intelligence Research
  • , Christopher J. SeebregtsAffiliated withLancaster UniversityCarnegie Mellon UniversitySchool of Computer Science, University of KwaZulu-NatalJembi Health SystemsMedical Research CouncilUKZN/CSIR Meraka Centre for Artificial Intelligence Research

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Abstract

Most African countries have limited health information systems infrastructure. Some health information system components are implemented but often on an adhoc, piecemeal basis, by foreign software developers and designed to solve specific problems. Little attention is usually paid to how these components can fit into an integrated national health information system and interoperate with other components. The Health Enterprise Architecture Laboratory was recently established in the School of Computer Science at the University of KwaZulu-Natal in South Africa to undertake research and build capacity in open health architectures for developing African countries. Based on field experiences and requirements in South Africa, Mozambique and Rwanda, the laboratory is evolving a generic Health Enterprise Architecture Framework and Repository of Tools specifically for low resource settings. In this paper we describe these three initiatives and the expected impact on implementing health information systems in developing African countries.

Keywords

health enterprise architectures ICT for developing countries interoperability ontologies postgraduate training open architectures