The Health Architecture Laboratory (HEAL) is funded by grants from the Rockefeller Foundation and the International Development Research Centre (IDRC). It seeks to apply the principles of architectural design to the development of better health information systems especially within low resource settings. A key focus of HEAL is to provide the academic infrastructure that will enable it to partner with organizations able to provide co-funding and innovative projects for students. To this end, HEAL works with public and private, local and international organizations to provide support for practical research projects to develop architectural artifacts and software building blocks at various levels in the healthcare system. Through an African not for profit company, Jembi Health Systems, HEAL has access to field sites and projects in several low an middle income countries, including Rwanda, Mozambique, South Africa, Zimbabwe and Malawi.
HEAL aims to:
- conduct world class research into appropriate health informatics enterprise class architectures and their applications in low-resource settings, and to develop, implement and evaluate prototypes of these systems.
- perform research into the application of enterprise architecture, interoperability of the components of a health information system and health informatics in low resource settings
- identify technology gaps in health information systems and develop new and relevant technologies and architectures for application in field sites through “living labs”
- reflect on how applied research on interoperable HIS can impact the governance of the health system and promote health system strengthening