From lab coat to tablet

The first impression you get when you meet Romain is his discreet nature, attention to detail, commitment to quality and a dedication to the work he does. So when we asked him to tell us about himself, it was clear we wanted to understand how he got where he is today.  

While his journey was not linear we immediately notice a central theme: his commitment to understanding complex problems and his desire to make an impact.

Another year for Bluesquare – The same vision, different ways.

Another year for Bluesquare – The same vision, different ways
At Bluesquare, what drives us is the desire to make the world a better place. Our goal is to ensure that every citizen on this planet has access to a minimum package of health services. Unfortunately, we are not there yet. The community surrounding the Tipo health center in the DRC has benefited from barely any substantial Global Health investment over the last years. So, helping Global Health players allocate their resources in a smarter way, so that it goes where it matters most, is where we can continue to make a difference. How will we get there? We believe that technology and data can influence this allocation in two ways : increase efficiency of existing investments through better data insights and financial disintermediation, and make Global Health a more attractive investment for countries and citizens looking to invest in this space.    

But how do we translate this vision into operational priorities? Here is our focus for 2018.

Data Collect in the DRC: Patient feedback & monitoring socio-economic status

Health RBF programs typically evaluate patient satisfaction quarterly to verify the information declared by health centers about the services offered. Every quarter, a sampling of patients who visit the health facility are interviewed usually by Community-Based Organizations (CBO). Once data has been collected, a “community satisfaction score” is calculated for each provider, which impacts the payment/bonus allocated to that provider. In most countries, this process is paper-based.

Data Collect in Benin: near real-time service availability and readiness data

In early 2016, Benin’s Ministry of Health scaled up its Results-Based Financing (RBF) system. This move has ensured that all health care providers (all public, most faith-based, some private) are surveyed quarterly to externally assess service availability and quality of care. To aid Benin’s government, Bluesquare has been providing strategic support to their RBF data system.

Why you probably shouldn’t host yourself

When delivering software to our customers or helping them setup a DHIS2 for their National Health Information System (NHIS), we always end up with the same question: where should to host the system? While Web Applications can be developed using various languages and technologies, they are common enough to require at minimum a database (to host the data), a web server (to run the code and pages that make the application), and possibly a few other services (e.g. a mail server).

We’re delighted to welcome our new CTO, Martin Van Aken!

Martin learned to program as a kid on his Commodore 64, but turned to economics for his studies before starting a career as a teacher. He then shifted to software development, which he has been doing for the past 15 years, experiencing most of the roles in the sector: programmer, architect, customer contact, team leader, technical coach, startup founder and technical mentor.

Going mobile: taking data collection to the next level

Each year we see the use of mobile devices become more widespread, including in developing countries, where mobile technology was previously less accessible. Furthermore, with growing use has come an increased understanding of technology. This has clearly helped projects that use mobile data collection. While this underlines the potential power of mobile data collection, what key values does it bring?