BIO: Chris Seebregts is a Senior Manager in Biomedical Informatics Research at the South African Medical Research Council; an Honorary Associate Professor in the School of Computer Science at the University of KwaZulu-Natal and Executive Director of Jembi Health Systems. He has a PhD in Chemical Pathology from the University of Cape Town and Hons BSc in computer science and information systems (software engineering) from the University of South Africa. He has worked both in the public and private sectors in biomedical and informatics research, information technology management and information systems development. He is part of the leadership of the Open Medical Record System project and Principal Investigator on a number of grants from international donors including the Open Architectures, Standards and Information Systems for developing countries project, funded by the International Development Research Center and the Rockefeller Foundation working on the development and implementation of an open health enterprise architecture framework for developing countries.
TOPIC: Developing an Open Health Enterprise Architecture Framework for Developing Countries
Abstract: Information systems have significant potential for strengthening health systems in developing countries. This area is traditionally under-developed but undergoing a renaissance as a result of increased availability of ICTS’s and mobile networks. A significant challenge to leveraging this renewed effort is the fragmentation of current systems and and duplication of efforts, resulting in low levels of interoperability and return on investment. More work needs to be done to improve the design aspect of health information systems implementations at a country level. The Health Enterprise Architecture Framework (HEAF) project has adopted an enterprise architecture approach to rational design of health information systems and is developing a reusable EA framework that can be customized on an individual country level and used to guide specific implementations in developing countries. The HEAF project has adopted a bottom-up approach in terms of which in-country implementation experiences are abstracted and drive the development of the EA framework itself which is also informed by other work in this area, including EA projects in the health and other domains. The development of the HEAF has some unique features characterized by the health domain and also presents software engineering challenges, such as the tension between expressive power and usability.