Emerging Technologies to Close Gender Data Gaps in Health

What emerging models and technologies are most promising for closing gender data gaps in health?

@bwilcher, @GB2020, @NielsRU, @adanvers, @rosiecampbell, you may have thoughts on Kathleen’s question. Please let us know what you think.

I am just wondering, what if the most vulnerable groups will have access to be check remotely through advanced apps? many have those smart devices regardless of their social context, I think if it is possible to develop those apps, it will narrow data gaps

@Hanadibader this is an interesting perspective!

Have you seen any apps that you can provide as examples of what might work well in remote contexts?

@Hanadibader I can imagine how apps could collect answers to direct questions and gather “big data” that can ideally offer more contextual information (from geolocation to service accessibility).

We are working on a Project related to heath and quality of life of the elderly women. We have collected some data in four states related to women who are in the home settings,all alone and those that are in institutions. Now the work of data collection has come to a standstill due to the lock down in my country due to Covid 19.Though many of these women are not technology savvy yet many are comfortable using the mobile phones, so we are working with the Information and Communication technology, the Computer Science Department to see if some apps can be developed for the use of this population related to their health needs. Simple things like, if they have had a fall, to get a doctor, monitor their blodd pressure etc. The work is still at an infancy and we are only having discussions at present. But it is our long term plan to use this big data to develop apps that could assist the elderly women.

Thanks @panderekha for sharing the details of the project you are working on. Its helpful to know the work in progress.

That sounds like great work @panderekha. Thanks for sharing. This reminds me of some of the mHealth initiatives from the past decade (mobile health technology that mostly focuses on reproductive health and child/material health). A great deal can be done with non-smart SMS phones. I can see great potential for impact with women elders you describe.

@panderekha very interesting project. Looking forward to hear more about it when it rolled out.

We are trying to review our research project and see how we can use mobile technology to get some of the information. I would be grateful for advice and ideas on platforms and apps for research surveys, to collect data in a secure and anonymous way, using social media or other communication apps, e.g., Whatsapp, Vibers that are more commonly used, in particular by displaced populations. thanks

We need to keep in mind the continuing digital divide (both gender and class) when we design technology and find ways of overcoming it. For example if women do not have their own mobile phone and have to share it with other family members, how can we still ensure that she can benefit from the technology

@Kalpana Indeed, the sharing of phones and people’s limited online access and privacy informed one of our core gender data gap problems around the accessibility and privacy of data. I would love to hear any solutions that people have found. I have heard of panic buttons that take the user to a less sensitive web page or app to keep their activities from being unexpectedly discovered.

@shihei I’ll keep this in mind and get back to you if our projects move in this direction or if we find any good examples. I know Facebook has been opening up some of their geolocation data for researchers and I’ve come across some mentions of integrating big data sources into more traditional survey tools. I’m not clear on the specifics of how it is done or what platforms people are using, however. Here is a link to some work Facebook is doing in this space. Data for Good: New Tools to Help Health Researchers Track and Combat COVID-19

thanks, @Aaron_Denham appreciated. Looking forward to reading more about this.

@shihei This article, “3 Ways Gender Data Can Go Big,” offers some potential pathways for big data. Although it is an overview and from 2017, it might offer some ideas/directions to follow up on: 3 ways gender data could go 'big' | Devex

@Kalpana your comments about the digital divide are incredibly relevant — thank you for sharing. Do you feel there is a tech solution that might be able to mitigate this issue?