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Data centres to quicken diagnoses

Kenyans will soon have access to health data centres that could quicken the diagnosis and treatment of diseases.

Hewlett Packard (HP) has partnered with Kenya`s ministry of health and the Clinton Health Access Initiative (CHAI) to build a data centre that will store medical records and blood samples of patients.

Each blood sample stored at the facility receives a bar code, and once tested for viruses such as HIV, results are then recorded in a database created by software developers from Kenya`s Strathmore University.

Kenyan doctors who used to receive results by courier are soon set to receive medical examination results via text messages sent to SMS/GSM-enabled HP printers, located throughout the country.

The ministry is also planning to build five other data centres that will have enough computing and storage power to connect more than 1 500 health facilities to more than 20 000 health workers in the country.

Kenya`s permanent secretary at the Ministry of Public Health and Sanitation, Mark Bor, says the data centre was “unprecedented in the history of the health ministry, and represents the biggest investment in IT to date”.

Ken Mbwaya, HP East Africa MD, says he is proud of the impact the company, in partnership with the ministry and CHAI, is having in Kenya.

“HP is providing technology that will shorten the turnaround for HIV test results to just two or three days, and will facilitate the provision of life-saving care to infants, accelerating access to life-saving technologies, and helping the government build the capacity required for high-quality care and treatment programmes,” he says.

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