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Table 1 Applying the Reverse Innovation Criteria: Uganda Health Information Network (UHIN)

From: Criteria to assess potential reverse innovations: opportunities for shared learning between high- and low-income countries

Brief description of initiative: An information network for community health workers using low-cost PDAs and cellular networks to collect and share critical health data
Step 1    
Criteria Description Score Rationale
 1. Accessibility Innovation increases access of products or services through increasing affordability, geographic access, and/or social access. 4 The program provides community health workers with PDAs that automatically load public health data to a centralized data bank. This helps with disease surveillance to ensure the right medicines and services are directed where needed.
 2. Cost Effectiveness Innovation improves cost effectiveness to payer, provider, or end user. 5 A study by independent consultants reported a savings of 25% per unit compared to traditional manual paper data collection.
 3. Scalability Innovation increases scope, geographic cover, or customer base. 4 There are 700 health workers in the program. There are 175 remote health facilities in the country that now have PDA capability, serving 1.5 million people.
 4. Effectiveness Documentation of effectiveness of innovation using appropriate evaluative methods 3 The cost-effectiveness of the program has been evaluated by independent consultants. The program is currently evaluating its health impact on healthcare planning, resource allocation, and delivery.
  TOTAL SCORE 16 Conclusion: Move to Step 2
Step 2    
Criteria Description Score Rationale
 5. Gap in Target HIC Creating solutions for unsolved (or imperfectly solved) challenges or unaddressed health issues or service gaps. 5 Information integration and digitalization, with particular attention to cost control, are extremely important challenges for the Canadian health system.
 6. Compatibility Compatible with healthcare infrastructure in the target HIC. 3 It is unclear how this information system would be regulated in the Canadian context, particularly with privacy considerations. However, the system could likely be adapted to meet Canadian regulations.
 7. Novelty The innovation is a novel approach or an established innovation used in a new way that has great promise. 4 PDAs and smartphones remain a relatively innovative, uncommon tool for health data collection in Canada.
 8. Receptivity Openness and engagement of partners as well as those not considered partners but who may be impacted by the innovation. 4 The IDRC and former CIDA are the primary funders of this initiative, suggesting strong connections to Canada.
  TOTAL SCORE 16 Conclusion: Score is ≥16. Likely to be a reverse innovation.