A Public Health Course Offering

Using Mobile Technology to Improve Health Outcomes

About BAO Systems 

BAO Systems makes complex data easy. We are a digital solutions company with services and products in data collection, data integration, data analytics, and data sciences. We are well-versed in governance, compliance, data and information security, and have deep technical expertise in app development. We ensure that data are available, accessible, digestible, and used for programmatic decision-making across all levels of an information system or within an organization.

Our broad expertise enables us to design, implement, and support sustainable solutions to complex challenges through technical assistance and capacity building. We support small, one-project information systems to large, complex, multi-country systems with thousands of users and multiple project partners.

BAO Systems, with its leaders Katherine Lew and Megan Kill, have released a course offering currently underway at Boston University School of Public Health bringing DHIS2 training to the master’s degree program for future public health experts.

Instructors Bios

Katherine Lew

Katherine Lew is an accomplished public health professional with over 20 years of experience specializing in health information systems, monitoring, evaluation, learning, and research. She currently serves as the Senior Director of Analytics at BAO Systems LLC in Washington, DC, a position she has held since 2023. Her expertise lies in employing human-centered design approaches to understand and meet stakeholders’ data needs and challenges. Ms. Lew has a proven track record in leading digital transformation processes and designing impactful, cost-efficient, and sustainable solutions for partners worldwide.

Her career at BAO Systems, starting in 2018, includes roles as Director of Analytics and Director of Business Development, AP Product Owner. She has significantly contributed to the development of the company’s analytics strategy, leading the product roadmap for the BAO Analytics Platform and collaborating closely with the Data Architect. Her efforts have led to a 20% average increase in annual revenue for two consecutive years and a high success rate in proposal submissions.

Prior to BAO Systems, Ms. Lew worked at FHI 360 as a Technical Advisor and Technical Officer in Strategic Information/Monitoring and Evaluation, where she led several key projects, including the development of an enterprise HIV/AIDS dashboard using Power BI.

Her earlier roles include serving as an Independent Consultant for the Massachusetts Department of Public Health and as a Research Associate at the Tropical Disease Research Centre in Zambia. Ms. Lew holds an MPH in International Health from Boston University and was a PhD candidate in Microbiology at Tufts Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences.

She is skilled in analytics strategy, health information systems assessment, data visualization, health systems strengthening, and capacity building. Ms. Lew is proficient in English and French and has been recognized with several awards, including FHI 360’s NOW Award. Her publications in the field of public health further underscore her expertise and commitment to the sector.

Megan Kill 

Megan Kill is an accomplished Project Implementation & Training Manager with a Master of Science in Epidemiology from the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine. Her career spans roles in system design, configuration, and training, primarily focused on health information systems. Currently at BAO Systems in Washington, DC, since July 2019, she leads in creating project plans, system architecture design, and manages deliverables and client communications. She is skilled in facilitating meetings, preparing training materials, and supporting DHIS2 configuration and roll-out.

Previously, as a DHIS2 Senior Executive Officer at Save the Children UK (2016-2019), Megan developed a DHIS2 instance for over 750 users across 18 countries, focusing on data management for various health programs. She led online and in-person training, developed learning materials, and ensured data-driven decision-making through effective visualizations and analysis.

Megan’s expertise also includes clinical epidemiology, demonstrated during her tenure as a Research Assistant at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine (2014-2016), where she worked on data analysis and statistical modeling for clinical trials and developed educational content.

Earlier, she served as a Community Health Advisor for The Stroke Project in London, promoting health checks and educating the community about disease prevention. Her educational background includes a Bachelor of Science in Psychology from the University of North Dakota.

Proficient in health information systems, data analysis, and visualization, Megan is skilled in various tools like DHIS2, Power BI, and ODK. She is fluent in English and excels in monitoring, evaluation, and capacity strengthening in the health sector.

Course Description

Digital health is a critical component of public health programs that has rapidly grown in the last decade as health systems continue to mature from paper-based tools to modern, cloud-based applications. Digital health refers to the development and use of digital technologies —which includes health informatics, mHealth, telemedicine, data analytics, big data, machine learning/artificial intelligence— as a part of health systems to improve population health and wellbeing. 

This course was created for those interested in learning about the digital health ecosystem with additional emphasis on how to use mobile technology to improve health care delivery. IH804 is a project-based course built around scoping, designing, and preparing to implement a digital health solution based on a real world business need. Working in a team, you will be provided with the context of a country’s health and digital ecosystem, and work towards completion of a use case throughout the course. At the beginning of the course your team will receive a Terms of Reference (TOR). The TOR will contain a request for your team to assess the potential for a digital or mHealth application to improve a public health outcome. You will work with the client throughout the course to scope the project, refine requirements, and design and develop a digital solution to meet the stated needs. For the final project you will prepare a written proposal and presentation describing the need, your proposed solution, and solution design documentation.

While working on the project, you will learn the vocabulary of digital health programs, explore the current state of the field, examine the evidence for health impact from using digital and mobile tools, gain an understanding of how to effectively leverage mobile health data, and explore pathways for scaling up digital solutions. Your experience in this course will help you to approach the use of digital health in your own public health practice in a more informed and systematic manner.

Course Goals and Learning Objectives

After completing this course you will be able to:

  • Use the basic terminology related to digital health to describe the variety of applications in the health sector and tools available on the market.
  • Speak confidently about the current state of the field of digital health, major partners, donors and international trends in digital health programs.
  • Understand technical requirements that inform digital solution design.
  • Describe technical and operational approaches to designing, developing, deploying, and scaling digital health interventions. Develop an mHealth application using an online application builder, collect and export data.
  • Understand the basics of dashboards and feedback loops using mobile health data.
  • Develop a professional proposal presenting the use case and describing your proposed solution to an evaluation committee.

Teaching Methodology and Course Format

Course sessions will include a mix of lectures; large group and small group discussions; and applied exercises. Students will be responsible for guiding some of the learning that will take place through their group work. Our aim is for an interactive course in which students are engaged actively and take responsibility for initiating and guiding much of the learning that takes place in the classroom. 

Sample Assignments 

  • RFP Questions
  • Security Memo
  • Intake, Scoping, Assessment, and Design/Evaluation Memos
  • DHIS2 Event Program Configuration
  • Ona.io / Enketo Form Building
  • Data Governance Policy
  • High Level Architecture Design

Session Overview

Session 1 – Introduction to Digital Health: Strategy and Governance

Session 2 – Modern Computing for Digital Health

Session 3 – Security and Compliance

Session 4 – Intake, Scoping, Assessment, and Design

Session 5 & 6 – Introduction to DHIS2

Session 7 – Mobile Data Collection and Form Design (Part 1)

Session 8 – Mobile Data Collection and Form Design (Part 2)

Session 9 – Implementation

Session 10 – Data Governance

Session 11 – Integration and Interoperability

Session 12 – Data Use and Visualization

Session 13 – AI and Advanced Technology

Session 14 – Final Presentation and Evaluation

For detailed information, contact Megan Kill at mkill@baosystems.com.