[SE07-MED] Technologies for Non-Communicable Diseases in Developing Countries

DAY 3 – Friday 29 June – 10:45-12:15
Swiss Tech | Room 1A | Level Garden 
Session Leader
Solomzi Makohliso
Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne, Switzerland
Solomzi Makohliso is a member of the the EssentialTech Program at EPFL. He is an international entrepreneur with biotechnology industry experience from the United States, Europe, and South Africa. He was also the founder and CEO of Ayanda Biosystems in Switzerland, and a Resident Entrepreneur at the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) in Pretoria, South Africa. He currently serves on the Swiss National Steering Committee for Bilateral Cooperation in Science & Technology with Africa. Previously, he served as a member of the Biotechnology Advisory Panel for the national Technology Innovation Agency (TIA) in South Africa and was a Member of the Nanotechnology Advisory Board in South Africa. He holds a PhD in Biomaterials from EPFL.
Tania Douglas
University of Cape Town, South Africa
Tania Douglas is a Professor in the Division of Biomedical Engineering and the Research Chair in Biomedical Engineering & Innovation at the University of Cape Town. Her research interests include medical imaging, the development of contextually appropriate health technologies, and heath innovation management. She is the founding Editor-in-Chief of Global Health Innovation, an electronic open-access journal focusing on social and technological innovation for improved health. She is a member of the Academy of Science of South Africa, a Fellow of the South African Academy of Engineering, and a Fellow of the International Academy of Medical and Biological Engineering.
Besides infectious diseases, an emerging and potentially greater health challenge is in the form of non-communicable diseases (NCDs). Non-communicable diseases (NCDs) have become a universal threat to
health with disproportionately higher rates in low and middle-incomecountries (LMICs). According to WHO, over 80% of cardiovascular and diabetes deaths, 90% of COPD deaths and two thirds of all cancer deaths occur in LMICs. This session aims to focus on the main NCDs in LMICs, notably cardiovascular diseases (CVD), diabetes, chronic obstructive pulmonary diseases (COPD) and cancers. In particular, to explore technology-based developments and innovations aimed at combating the NCD challenges in LMICs.
Panelists and Abstracts
(in alphabetical order)
Integration of a Technology-based Mental Health Screening into Primary Health Care Services in Peru: The Allillanchu Project
Francisco Diez-Canseco1, Mauricio Toyama1, Alessandra Ipince1, Silvana Perez-León1, Victoria Cavero1, Ricardo Araya2, J. Jaime Miranda1,3
1CRONICAS Center of Excellence in Chronic Diseases, Universidad Peruana Cayetano Heredia, Lima, Peru
2Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology & Neuroscience, King’s College London, London, UK
3School of Medicine, Universidad Peruana Cayetano Heredia, Lima, Peru
Presenting author’s email address:fdiezcanseco@upch.pe
Biography of Presenting Author: Francisco Diez-Canseco is a psychologist with Public Health training and an Associate Investigator at CRONICAS Center of Excellence in Chronic Diseases at Universidad Peruana Cayetano Heredia. He has a 16-year experience leading complex interventions, large-scale surveys and in-depth qualitative studies in low-income settings. His recent research experience includes clinical trials and pilot studies that use mobile health technology for preventing, detecting, or treating mental health disorders and non-communicable diseases in Latin America.
The Allillanchu Project tested a technology-based intervention to promote early detection, opportune referral and access to treatment of patients with mental disorders attending primary health care services in Lima, Peru. The project had a multi-phase design: formative study, development of intervention components and implementation. The mobile health component of the intervention comprises a mental disorders screening app and a set of SMSs to motivate help-seeking behaviors among those identified during the screening.
The intervention was routinely and voluntary implemented by 22 primary health care providers during 9 weeks and assessed using a mixed-methods approach. A total of 733 patients were screened during routine consultations. 21.7% screened positively and were advised to seek specialized care. 72.4% of positively screened patients reported seeking specialized care and 55.1% stated seeing a specialist. Both patients and providers recognized the utility of the screening and identified key challenges to its wider and successful implementation.  
Evaluation of an mHealth Strategy to Improve the Quality of Diabetes Care in Underserved Areas of Argentina: A Mixed-methods Design
Andrea Beratarrechea1, Daniela Morelli D.1, Marilina Santero M.1, Daniela Moyano D.1, Ariel Fernandez1, Luz Gibbons1, Silvana Grosso2, Adela Saade2, Griselda Alegre3, Vilma Edith Irazola1
1Institute for Clinical Effectiveness and Health Policy (IECS), Buenos Aires, Argentina
2Ministry of Public Health, Province of de Corrientes, Argentina
3Secretary of Health. Municipality of Paso de los Libres, Province of de Corrientes, Argentina
Presenting author’s email address: aberatarrechea@iecs.org.ar
Biography of Presenting Author: Andrea Beratarrechea is a researcher at Institute of Clinical Effectiveness and Health Policy and was a consultant for the Directorate of Health Promotion and Control of NCDs, Ministry of Health, Argentina. Her main research areas are the design and implementation of disease management programs to prevent and control NCDs and has focused in the implementation of mHealth interventions. She has participated as the coordinator and Principal investigator in many trials that include these strategies to address NCDs.
Diabetes in Argentina is an important public health problem. In this article, we evaluate the effect at 6 months on the quality of diabetes care of two mHealth interventions :an app for healthcare professionals to collect clinical information+ a support decision tool to guide diabetes management and weekly educational SMS for diabetic patients. Eighteen clinics were selected and 984 diabetic patients included, mean age 53.5 years, 44.8 % without health coverage and 61.4 % with low educational attainment. 769 patients had access to a cell phone and accepted to receive SMS. Results showed poor quality of care at baseline but improvement was observed at 6 months. Text- messaging was well accepted by patients and supported by healthcare professionals however mHealth for data collection still possess some difficulties related with clinics infrastructure and the workload.
Building a Venture to Enhance Specialty Care – Cancer Care Access in India
Nancy Harvey1, Mayank Kale2
1University of Chicago, Chicago, USA
2Invoq Health
Presenting author’s email address: nharvey@uchicago.edu
Biography of Presenting Author: Nancy Harvey, PhD, is a graduate of the College of Creative Studies of the University of California at Santa Barbara. She earned a PhD in Chemical Physics from the University of Minnesota as a National Science Foundation Fellow, held a post-doctoral fellowship at the California Institute of Technology, and subsequently earned an MBA in Finance from The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania. She is the Director of Technology Commercialization and Managing Director of the Polsky Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation.
We explore the intentional development of a venture that seeks to improve health in low and middle-income countries (LIMC’s) through the case study of Invoq Health, a startup venture committed to increasing access to specialty healthcare services across the developing world with an initial focus on significantly enhancing cancer care in rural India. We explore the entrepreneurial journey and growth of students as they hone their engineering and business educations and seek to apply their skills to address significant health care sector problems in extremely challenged communities with limited health care assets.
We derive hypotheses regarding factors that contribute to successful initiatives, some that counter conventional wisdom regarding new venture development.
Invoq Health is building an innovative platform, comprehensive product, and robust business delivery system. Importantly, it is recruiting medical leadership and qualified personnel to bring this asset to the underserved population in need of cancer care.
Boosting Diabetes Screening in Rural Ghana via Mobile Phone Apps
Alessandro Crimi1, Rosemary Amoah1, Bernarx Effah Nyarko1
1African institute for Mathematical Science, Cape Coast, Ghana
Presenting author’s email address: alessandro@aims.edu.gh
Biography of Presenting Author: Dr. Alessandro Crimi holds a PhD in medical imaging from the University of Copenhagen, and an MBA in international health management from the The Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute in Basel. He had mostly worked as a researcher in neuroimaging and other medical imaging technologies in European universities, and as a lecturer at the African institute for Mathematical sciences in Ghana. Since few years is conducting projects related to prenatal health using novel technologies as portable ultrasound and m-health.
Diabetes in a growing worldwide disease with serious consequences to health and high financial burden. Ghana is one of the developing African countries where the prevalence of diabetes among individuals is increasing. Moreover, many case remained undiagnosed, posing an increased danger of complications for people living with diabetes which are unaware. This study proposes a novel screening approach, which was tested during a pilot in some rural communities of the central region. The approach was based on tested carried out by community nurses using glucometers and mobile phone apps, performing tests on undiagnosed and diagnosed subjects. The objectives are to propose a novel method to increase diabetes detection, and to find new behavioral determinants related to diabetes.