The 4th IASTED African Conference on
Health Informatics
AfricaHI 2016

September 5 – 7, 2016
Gaborone, Botswana


Innovations in mHealth for Maternal & Newborn Health

Prof. Olivia Velez
Columbia University - Department of Biomedical Informatics, USA


High rates of preventable maternal and newborn deaths continue to call for new strategies for prevention. Ninety-nine percent of pregnancy-related deaths occur in developing countries with about 830 women dying each day. While worldwide there has been a decrease in neonatal mortality, progress has been slow or stagnant in many regions, with many countries failing to reach the Millennium Development Goals. This presentation will explore promising solutions for addressing causes of preventable maternal and neonatal mortality using health information technology. The aim is to provide a pragmatic view of potential solutions while addressing the challenges of implementation and limited resources by reviewing both success, failures, and promising new innovations.

Biography of the Keynote Speaker

Keynote Speaker Portrait

Dr. Vélez is the Vice President of Patient Engagement & Community Health Innovations for Hudson River Health Care where she works on initiatives to improve patient engagement and access to care for underserved populations facilitated by innovations and health information technology. Dr. Velez previously served as the eHealth Team Lead for USAID's Maternal and Child Survival Program, where she leads the strategy for the use of eHealth to address reproductive, maternal, newborn and child health for development. Dr. Vélez is an author on over a dozen peer reviewed papers on health informatics and has presented her work on mHealth at both national and international venues including the mHealth Summit, the UN Economic & Social Council Partnership Clinic on Mobiles for Midwives, and numerous informatics conferences. While a National Library of Medicine Post-Doctoral Fellow in Biomedical Informatics at Columbia University, Dr. Velez designed an mHealth tool for midwives in Ghana. Dr. Velez was a 2010 Jonas Nurse Leaders Scholar and a 2014 Alliance for Nursing Informatics Emerging Leader.