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Fogarty encourages use of technology in research

May / June 2014 | Volume 13, Issue 3

To better harness the great potential of technology to advance research in low-resource settings, Fogarty has launched a new program to encourage the use of information and communications technology (ICT) in global health interventions and increase technical expertise among scientists. Through the Global Health Research and Research Training eCapacity Initiative, Fogarty is providing $1.6 million to five institutions in the first funding round.

In foreground two medical workers view electronic device screen together, in background two more discuss together at a table
Photo by David Snyder for Fogarty/NIH

Grants from Fogarty's eCapacity Initiative will support
incorporation of information and communications
technology (ICT) resources into research and research
training activities.

The three-year grants will support projects to train researchers in seven countries and target a wide range of public health issues, including trauma, infectious diseases, mentoring and research skills, biostatistics, data sharing and management, software programming and research ethics. The program's goal is to develop adaptable ICT users whose research activities continue to evolve as technological changes take place. The eCapacity initiative is aligned with Fogarty's new strategic plan, which describes expanding the use of ICT as a key priority.

"As low- and middle-income countries become increasingly wired, it's crucial that we leverage opportunities for telemedicine, mobile health applications, distance learning and online research efforts," said Fogarty Director Dr. Roger I. Glass. "These new eCapacity grants will provide a powerful catalyst for our grantees to discover how these technologies can foster innovation."

The University of Pittsburgh will establish a trauma information system in Colombia that will eventually be expanded to Paraguay and Guatemala. An award going to Johns Hopkins University will fund a similar initiative in Uganda designed to strengthen electronic capacity in training related to disability and injury. A team at Cayetano Heredia University in Peru will capitalize on advancements resulting from an earlier Fogarty-supported informatics network, while promoting and increasing ICT use in Spanish-speaking countries in Latin America, the Caribbean and Africa.

Grantees from Tulane University will improve upon existing Fogarty-funded distance education and mobile health platforms in Argentina and Peru, with the intent of producing novel telediagnostic and research applications. Finally, the University of Washington will launch a collaborative project with the University of Nairobi that aims to build institutional capacity in Kenya by training and mentoring researchers in a broad range of ICT applications, including geographic information systems.

2014 Global Health Research and Research Training eCapacity Initiative Grant Awards

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