Following the launch of the Nigeria Health Innovation Marketplace (NHIM), the Private Sector Health Alliance of Nigeria (PHN) is set to convene the first ever healthcare hackathon in four days time.
PHN is partnering with the Ministry of Communication Technology, Open Data Day, the Saving One Million Lives Initiative (SOMLI), NPHCDA, World Bank, Code for Africa, Co-creation Hub, Idea Hub and Cousant Technologies to drive the initiative.
The PHN, the public-private institution led by Aliko Dangote, founding patron; Bill Gates, Jim Ovia, co-chair; Muhammad Ali Pate, co-chair; Aigboje Aig-Imoukhuede, Sola David Borha, Muntaqa Umar-sadiq, managing director/CEO and others is the country’s foremost private sector platform.
The group seeks to contribute to the saving one million lives movement and advance progress in meeting the health Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) by focusing on innovation, partnerships, advocacy and impact investments.
As part of its innovation pillar, PHN is also inviting computer programmers, software and mobile application developers, user interface designers, and subject matter analysts to register and participate in the day long healthcare hackathon where household, facility based and programme level health data covering 24 states in the country will be unveiled. It would also be mapped against other socio-economic, fiscal and GPRS location data.
During its kick off, Aliko Dangote stated that for too long the asymmetry and dearth of healthcare data has constrained the growth of innovation and limited the application of technological advances in the heath sector. In his remarks, the co-chair of PHN, Muhammad Ali Pate, said that the Private Sector Health Alliance has brokered this innovative marketplace between public sector agencies that will be disclosing national healthcare data sets and technology innovators that will be developing innovative technology solutions to real public health challenges.
The MD/CEO of the Private Sector Health Alliance, Muntaqa Umar-sadiq, further added that the healthcare hackathon is an important first step in building a data hub for Nigeria’s health sector.
He said it would also spark the development of mobile based crowd sourcing applications, predictive, surveillance and data performance management programmes, visual data analytics and other healthcare tools that if supported to scale can play an enabling role in leapfrogging constraints and advancing Nigeria’s progress in meeting the health related MDGs.
During the panel discussion, the technical lead of SOMLI and special adviser to minister of health said that one of the pillars of the SOMLI is to expand the use of mobile/Information Communication Technology (ICT) to improve access to care and data. Private Sector Health Alliance will provide cash prizes to the top five winning teams and admit selected promising innovations into the PHN health innovation hub, where incubation support as well as linkages to public and private markets will be created and innovations supported to achieve scale.