Between Failure and Hope: Experiences of Digital Technologies for Engaging with Health Inequities in the Global South

DOS Research Centre is pleased to invite you to an event with its Distinguished Speaker Professor Sundeep Sahay, Professor of Information Systems, at the Department of Informatics, University of Oslo, Norway

16 November 2022 DOS Distinguished Speaker Lecture

Tea and Coffee from 13:30 Moore Auditorium, Moore Building, Royal Holloway, Egham Campus

Speaker: Prof Sundeep Sahay, University of Oslo, Norway

Engaging with health inequities in the Global South is a key priority, which is inscribed in a number of the SDGs, e.g. SDG3 (health and well-being for all), SDG5 (women’s equality and empowerment) and SDG10 (reduce inequality within and among countries). Digital technologies indeed have a role to play in supporting efforts to mitigate health inequities and contribute towards achieving these goals. But, what has been our experience till date? They oscillate between visions of deep despair with 90% of digital initiatives being branded as total or partial failures or extreme optimism with AI and Machine Learning being positioned as the silver bullet to address health challenges. A summary inference which can be drawn from experiences to date is that the potential of digital technologies to address health inequities has not been adequately materialized in practice, in the context of the Global South. Understanding what are some of the reasons underlying this inference and reflecting on what can be done about it, will be the focus of this talk. Sundeep will draw upon his 20+ years of experience of studying and working with health information systems in the Global South, to raise some relevant questions and seek to find approaches to engage with this urgent issue.

About

Sundeep Sahay is Professor of Information Systems at the Department of Informatics, University of Oslo, Norway. He currently holds affiliate appointments at the Centre of Sustainable Healthcare Education, Faculty of Medicine, University of Oslo and at the Information School, Sheffield University, UK. The focus of his work has been on the design, development, integration, use and sustainability of health information architectures in developing countries, with a primary focus in the Indian public health system. Sundeep has worked closely with policy makers, health programme managers and field level health functionaries. He has extensive experience with management of research projects involving partners from universities, public health sector, and also running an NGO.

close up photo of a digital image

DOS Digital Health Online Event

Professor Niki Panteli, Dr Nisreen Ameen, Dr Najmeh Hafezieh and Dr Philip Wu are pleased to invite you to the DOS Digital Health Online Event, joined by Key Speakers Professor Weizi (Vicky) Li, Henley Business School, and Dr Hajar Mozaffar, University of Edinburgh Business School.

Time: 1 December, 10:00 – 11:30am UK Time (Online via Microsoft Teams)

Agenda

Developing data-driven solutions in real-world healthcare management
Professor Weizi (Vicky) Li

Abstract

Data-driven solutions such as artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) can improve health and care efficiency by augmenting human labour and enhancing productivity. This talk will cover a series of collaborative projects with NHS developing real-world data-driven healthcare applications and will focus on data-driven solutions to improve referral triage from primary to secondary care, and to reduce “do-not-attend” in secondary care outpatient management. We will discuss how AI/ML improve healthcare efficiency, patient outcomes and health inequality, challenges, and future opportunities.

Evolution of knowledge ecosystems in digital transformation of the health sector
Dr Hajar Mozaffar

Abstract

Digital transformation is now central to most health system strategies around the world; although policy makers and implementers generally agree on the potential of health information technology (HIT) to improve safety, quality, and efficiency of care, strategies for procurement, implementation, and optimization vary significantly across settings. Hence, large-scale HIT-enabled transformation programs have met with varying success, and there is no agreed strategy on how best to achieve digital transformation at scale. We propose that organisation-level perspective on digital transformation of the health sector offers limited understanding of the phenomenon and hence partial understanding of how to deliver successful transformation. We suggest that to understand the complex nature of digital transformation, new approaches that consider different levels of analysis are needed. In doing so, we show how inter-organisational knowledge collaborations are a key feature of recent initiatives to promote concerted change across multiple organizations by establishing a knowledge ecosystem.

Overlit: Digital architectures of visibility

The DOS Research Centre is delighted to invite you to a public seminar given by our CBS partner, Prof. Mikkel Flyverbom. The event is organised by the DOS cluster of Digital Inequality, Ethics and Cyberactivism.

Speaker: Prof. Mikkel Flyverbom at Copenhagen Business School
Time: 2-4pm, Wednesday 2nd March
Venue: Shilling Lecture Theatre
Livestreaming link: Please contact DOSdirectors@rhul.ac.uk if you want to join this event.

Overlit: Digital architectures of visibility
(forthcoming in special section of Organization Theory, along with essays by Michael Power and Shoshana Zuboff)

Abstract

Despite the ubiquity of digital technologies, data-driven approaches and algorithms, organization theory so far only engages with these developments in limited ways. A deeper engagement with the organizational ramifications of a digital, datafied world is urgently needed and must start from mappings of the phenomenon and the development of better theoretical vocabularies that can guide future research. Complementing the essays by Zuboff and Power in this exchange, my essay suggests a research agenda based on how digital technologies, data and algorithms impact and shape our lives in and around organizations by making us visible in novel ways. I unpack the technological and operational underpinnings of this phenomenon in two steps. The first is a broad conceptualization of the overall shape of what I term ‘digital architectures’. The second is a more granular theorization of how data-driven, algorithmic approaches make the ‘management of visibilities’ a central concern for humans, organizations and societies, as well as some reflections on possible responses to these developments. Taken together, these discussions highlight how digital ubiquity calls for novel theoretical perspectives and research avenues for organization theory to explore.