Newswise — In an effort to increase the use of information and communication technology (ICT) in global health interventions and address technical expertise gaps among scientists in developing countries, a new NIH initiative has awarded $1.6 million over three years to five institutions. The first round of grants from Fogarty’s Global Health Research and Research Training eCapacity Initiative will support the efforts of former and current grantees to establish education programs designed to teach trainees to incorporate ICT resources into their research and research training activities.

The awards will fund 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 goal is to develop adaptable ICT users whose research activities continue to evolve as technological changes take place.

“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, ultimately leading to the creation of cutting-edge education and data collection tools.”

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

Cayetano Heredia University, Lima, PeruRunachay: Information and Communication Technologies for Global HealthPrincipal Investigator: Dr. Magaly Blas

Johns Hopkins UniversityE-Capacity for Trauma Injuries and Disability Research and Training in UgandaPrincipal Investigator: Dr. Adnan Hyder and Dr. Abdulgafoor Bachani

Tulane University, New OrleansInter-American E-Capacity Research Training in Infectious and Chronic DiseasesPrincipal Investigator: Dr. Richard Oberhelman and Dr. LuAnn White

The University of PittsburgheCapacity for Trauma Information Systems and Research Education (eCATIS)Principal Investigator: Dr. Juan Puyana

University of WashingtonDeveloping ICT Research Skills and Institutional Capacity in KenyaPrincipal Investigator: Dr. Michael Chung

More InformationLearn more about the Fogarty Global Health Research and Research Training eCapacity Initiative.