On June 21, 2014, Dr. Byron Crape from the American University of Armenia School of Public Health (AUA SPH) delivered a keynote speech at the ICT (Information and Communications Technology) and Innovative Technologies in Medicine and Healthcare Session at the Seventh Annual DigiTec Business Forum in the Marriot Hotel in Yerevan. The Minister of Health Professor Armen Muradyan chaired the Session.
Dr. Crape addressed the reasons for failed health information systems during the years following the implementation of ICT solutions and ways to assure sustainability. He noted that many essential issues must be addressed to ensure the survival and evolution of ICT health information systems over time. These include transformation to a culture promoting ICT use, adaptability of the system, adequate IT support, protection from new computer malevolent software, and resolving the technological gap between urban and rural areas. He emphasized the philosophy of KISS (Keep it Simple, Stupid!), explaining that overcomplicated ICTs may ruin health information systems long after the contractors that installed the ICT solutions have left.
Dr. Byron Crape, resident faculty in the AUA School of Public Health, is an analytical epidemiologist and biostatistician who completed his PhD at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health in the United States. He has worked for many years with the World Health Organization, various Ministries of Health, non-governmental organizations, and universities around the world as a health information and monitoring and evaluation specialist. His career has included refugee work in war zones, disaster management, major university research projects, and design and management of refugee health systems. His publications include papers in international peer-reviewed journals in diverse fields, including mental health, infectious diseases, nutrition, and non-communicable diseases. He has also authored various chapters in WHO publications and the Health and Education page for a National Geographic atlas.