m-Health Nurse's Blog

A journey as a nursing doctoral student studying m-Health

Development culture September 12, 2010

Filed under: In Developement,m-Health — mhealthnurse @ 4:39 am

When you get into a particular sub-field of a research specialty you become involved in a new community with it’s own language, cultural expectations and norms. I have learned many new words and acronyms this summer: ICT4D, M4D, mHealth, etc. There is a required reading list for this field: the End of Poverty by Jeffrey Sachs; Mountains beyond Mountains by Tracey Kidder; Three Cups of Tea; Half the Sky by Nicholas Kristof, etc. I should probably be a vegetarian at home but eat meat abroad when appropriate. Though this is a global field there are only a few thousand people who work in this field so it doesn’t take much time to meet and get to know most of the major players, even though they are spread across the globe.

I am enjoying this aspect of being in the research/academic/development/open-source world because the passion of people doing this work is much more inspiring than anything found in the corporate/industry world. Being around inspiring people makes the long flights in coach and the small paychecks a little easier.


Finally getting started September 9, 2010

Filed under: m-Health,Student Life — mhealthnurse @ 5:47 am

So it’s been a while since I posted. I passed comps in June, which I thought would lead to a stress free summer but instead I spent the summer coding my heart out trying to get my work projects completed before my trip to Africa, where I’m writing this post. Currently I am in Cape Town attending the OpenMRS developers and implementers meeting. I am developing a new love for this community of developers who are working together to bring an open-source medical records platform to developing countries. The dedication and passion of people involved in both the development and implementation of OpenMRS has been inspiring.

A few weeks ago I attended the Global Health Idea Incubator workshop at Unite for Sight (UFS). I was really impressed by how a small project that started as one Yale graduate students idea grew into an NGO that has provided almost 40,000 eye surgeries in developing countries this year. I’m wondering what strategies learned by UFS can be applied to OpenMRS.

What I have learned, lately, is that it is not enough to be knowledge about my domain, but I have to know about the policies, social, and financial implications of my work for it to be truly effective and sustainable. My doctoral education has made clear that the “what I don’t know” far exceeds the “what I do know” in my own field and especially in the overlapping areas of sustainable development and ICT. What I’m learning is , that is the point of a PhD — generation of new knowledge. What I mean is demonstrated visually by Phd School in Pictures

Future posts will not be after 24 hours flying, 6 hours sleep, and not enough caffeine.


Bill Gates: Mobiles not PCs for global health May 3, 2010

Filed under: In the news,m-Health — mhealthnurse @ 2:43 pm

Bill Gates: Mobiles not PCs for global health

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Matt Berg-Time 100 most influential people of 2010 April 29, 2010

Filed under: In the news,m-Health — mhealthnurse @ 4:01 pm

I haven’t read the whole list, and probably won’t since Ashton Kutcher, Lady Gaga, Sarah Palin, and probably some other people on my plzSTFU list are on there. But someone I sort of know is on the list! Matt Berg is a part of the team that I am doing my dissertation work with, though we’ve only “met” by email so far. Matt works on the ChildCount+ project for Millennium Villages which is helping to reduce child mortality rates in sub-Saharan Africa by using mobile phones to regularly screen for malnutrition, monitor for illness, and provide immunization support to community health workers. They have a great video about the project on their website.