Data Platform Helps Pacific Islands Collect, Analyze, and Act On Information — Global Issues

Data Platform Helps Pacific Islands Collect, Analyze, and Act On Information — Global Issues

  • by Marty Logan (kathmandu)
  • Inter Press Service

Developed in 2017 as a system for tracking items in the extremely long supply chains of health materials in the Pacific islands, Tupaia today collects, analyzes and presents data on health, education and the environment from a number of unrelated sources. in an interactive online map.

“If you want to see how many people a country has had regarding a Covid outbreak or a dengue outbreak, that kind of information will be displayed in Tupaia,” said Erin Nunan, director of Beyond Essential Services, the company that provides the platform.

“You can look at a national level and see how many people have access to health services within a given time frame, or you can zoom in on a province or a district and see more specifically where there might be gaps for people accessing the health system. , or where people do really well, and that allows a country to mount different reactions,” Nunan added in a video interview ahead of the Small Islands States (SIDS) Forum Solutions take place online and in person from August 30-31, 2021.

Tupaia is one of the innovations showcased at the event, which aims to kick-start SIDS’ efforts to achieve the global development goals by 2030. Organized by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN in conjunction with the UN International Telecommunications Union and co-organized by the Government of Fiji, the forum gathers representatives from the 38 SIDS worldwide, UN agencies and civil society.

The economies of many SIDS have been battered by COVID-19 restrictions, which have choked major tourist trade. Many have also faced monumental challenges such as rising sea levels and a growing number of extreme weather events due to climate change. The forum, which ends Tuesday, aims to “incubate, promote and scale proprietary and imported solutions to accelerate the achievement of the agriculture, food and nutrition-related Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs),” the website says.

The creators of Tupaia believe the platform has brought countries closer to the goals for SDG3 (health and wellbeing), SDG6 (water and sanitation for all) and SDG 17 (strengthening implementation and partnership for sustainable development). Their company, Beyond Essential Systems, has also released: tamanu, a medical record system.

Today, Tupaia operates in six countries in the Pacific and beyond, collecting real-time data from nearly 800 facilities using a variety of sources, including its own app, MediTrak, and creating visualizations that health systems, workers, and even patients can use. for making decisions. In Fiji, it helps to track Covid-19 swab samples.

Open source and free, thanks to funding from the Australian government and others, Tupaia’s data collection, management and visualization tools can also be used to collect environmental data for resource management such as water stations and disaster relief. In Papua New Guinea, the platform is used to track the incidence of malaria.

“It could be a nurse in a clinic, it could be an administrator in a single province, those are the people we really think of as the customers of the software, the actual end users,” said Michael Nunan, CEO of Beyond Essential Systems, in another video interview for the SIDS Solutions Forum.

In 2018, for example, an order for cold chain medicines for the island of Kiribati was delayed. As a result, a busy facility ran out of supplies, including insulin and hepatitis B vaccine. But the nurse at the facility was able to log into Tupaia and instantly see which facilities nearby had a functioning refrigerator and stock of the needed medications. She contacted one of them and was able to arrange a prompt delivery of the stock so that there was little interruption in patient care.

Named after a Polynesian navigator who joined Captain James Cook’s crew in 1769, Tupaia takes data often silosed in specialized software designed for specific purposes, and integrates it into dashboards that are customizable for different user groups.

Tupaia’s data sources, vaccine and other drug supply chain software, health information software, and data collection applications provide information about health infrastructure, including the cold chain, critical medical equipment, personnel and services.

“Whatever you want to do with data, be it data collection, data aggregation, analysis, visualization or dissemination, we want you to be able to do that with Tupaia,” said Michael Nunan in the video interview.

© Inter Press Service (2021) — All rights reservedOriginal source: Inter Press Service

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