College Hall Meeting: Advancing Healthcare Innovation

Dr. Joyce Wamicwe, Head of Digital Health, Informatics Policy and Research at the Ministry of Health, Kenya addressing the students at the College Hall Meeting

Developing technological solutions in healthcare is crucial for enhancing efficiency, improving patient outcomes, and promoting accessibility, thereby standardizing and advancing healthcare globally.

This was the rallying call during a College Hall Meeting organised by JKUAT’s College of Health Sciences in collaboration with Palladium and Health Workforce Training & Research Kenya (Hetark). Serving as the launch pad, the event galvanized JKUAT students across its five colleges to incubate and develop solutions aimed at revolutionizing healthcare services in Kenya.

Head of Digital Health, Informatics Policy, and Research at the Ministry of Health, Dr. Joyce Wamicwe, encouraged students to think critically and pitch their ideas, emphasizing the importance of collaboration and problem-solving.

Dr. Wamicwe also underscored the significance of facilitating the transition from paper-based to electronic health records systems, a transition facilitated by Palladium.

Echoing these sentiments, Principal of the College of Health Sciences, Dr. Reuben Thuo, underscored the pivotal role of collaboration in driving technological solutions in healthcare. He commended the students for their participation, highlighting the transformative potential of innovating eHealth solutions in the healthcare landscape.

Students keenly follow the proceedings

“In the ever-growing era of AI, we need to think outside the box taking advantage of these systems to bridge the gap and ensure all Kenyans can access quality Healthcare. I hope that today, you will gain insight on how to bring your ideas into reality,” said Dr. Thuo during the opening remarks.

Registrar of Academic Affairs, Dr. Aggrey Wanyama, commended the organizers for creating a platform where students from various colleges could engage with industry leaders and get insights to what is expected of them.

Students participating in the project are tasked with identifying healthcare challenges, designing prototypes, testing concepts, and ultimately pitching their ideas for support and implementation. The project comprises three phases: the college hall meeting, a boot camp, and a hackathon.

During the college hall meeting, students and mentors collaborate to identify problem cases, form teams, and devise solutions over a two-week period. Promising teams proceed to a boot camp for further development before final presentations and awards in May 2024.

Dr. Davies Kimanga, Deputy Pillar Lead, Epidemiology, Statistics and Strategic Information in the Division of Global HIV and TB, CDC Kenya

Motivating factors for student involvement abound, including opportunities to join a vibrant community of system developers, engage in real-world problem-solving, receive mentorship from industry experts, secure internship opportunities, and showcase innovations at scientific conferences.

Dr. Davies Kimanga, Dr. Davis Kimanga, Deputy Pillar Lead, Epidemiology, Statistics and Strategic Information in the Division of Global HIV and TB at CDC Kenya, expressed appreciation for the opportunity to tackle pressing healthcare challenges and recognized the potential of student contributions to public health solutions.

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