To address issues with Zambia’s digital healthcare system, BongoHive and IHM Southern Africa (IHM) have been working together on a hackathon called the “Digital Health Hackathon,” which brings together developers nationwide.
The 4 themes and challenges for the innovators were to: provide initiatives for better patient outcomes and healthcare delivery by leveraging digital technology to innovate Electronic Health Records (EHRs), improve interoperability and provide a secure ecosystem collaboration, adopt AI and telemedicine, and improve training and knowledge of EHRs.
The Digital Health Hackathon culminated in the Pitch Day on 7th December 2023 where 7 innovators presented their ideas to win one of 3 cash prizes of ZMW80000, ZMW45000 and ZMW25000.
These 7 innovations were:
- MedSearch Zambia
- MediLink Innovation
- Zone Innovation Limited
- 4 Pencil Animation Studio
- Data Dreamers
Lukonga Lindunda, Executive Director of BongoHive, shared that when they received interest from IHM Southern Africa to run a hackathon, they took it on, and have committed to do this a few more times, and do it even better at the next one. He added that there are many opportunities ahead, and that these innovations, even though quite small, have the potential to impact the health system in Zambia, such as efficient and secure electronic health records.
“This was an opportunity that did not exist before and we’re excited about this going forward. We can truly change Zambia using technology, but using technology that understands the landscape that it is in,” he said.
Kelvin Sikwibele. CEO – IHM Southern Africa, shared that, “Funding in the software development space is typically tied to institutions, but we thought we can contribute to the development space in Zambia innovatively. We at IHM thought to take a risk and move away from what we usually do, so we partnered outside with BongoHive for this Digital Health Hackathon, recognising the experience they bring to the space. We wanted to open up the developer space. We are excited to work with BongoHive as this will turn a page in the ecosystem.”
The top 3 prizes were won by:
1st Prize ZMW80000 – MedSearch Zambia
2nd Prize ZMW45000 – Zone Innovations
3rd Prize ZMW25000 – 4 Pencils Animation Studios