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hcsmSA - MOOC: Digital Empowerment Course for South African Healthcare

by Vanessa Carter

hcsmSA is currently a Twitter chat which discusses e-Health in South Africa modelled around the UN Sustainable Development Goal's. Travel cost assistance is required.
Fourways, GT South Africa HIT

All Team Company Physicians Hospital Partners Innovation Details Supporters Comments Updates

About our project

The problem we solve: The hcsmSA online course aims to empower stakeholders in the health sector in South Africa with basic digital skills so they are able to understand the meaningful use of ICT's in eHealth. Our introductory modules will focus on the following topics: 1. Using Twitter for health 2. Understanding emerging technology like bioprinting and virtual reality 3. eWomen (SDG5) in health 4. The evolution of the web, ePatients, eDoctors and the future of smart health

About our solution: Everyone should be empowered to understand how to use social media and the web for healthcare. Education is a major factor towards improving user engagement, quality of data and care. Imagine doctors knew how to stay informed about mobile apps, bioprinting, nanotechnology, wearables and refer patients to online communities for support? Imagine they could prescribe technology which they were never taught about in medical school? This is the future, but our HCP's haven’t been given these skills to prepare for digital transformation. hcsmSA is developing a course with a local professional CPD institute to educate HCP’s in South Africa. The course will also extend out to the local community in areas such as women empowerment, community workers, charities, advocates and nurses. A corporate sponsor is required for the production of the course as well as the #hcsmSA Twitter chat which is utilised towards the academic content.

Progress to date:

I have partnered with several NPO's such as The Women Advancement Forum Africa and a private university in Johannesburg to develop the hcsmSA course. We are in proposal and content development stages. The #hcsmSA Twitter chat has been operational since February 2016. Some of our topics have included access to ICT's with experts from ITU and Sustainable Health Development as well as Virtual Reality in Medical Education.

I currently present about digital citizen empowerment at various events internationally and locally, they have included HISI2016 (Health Informatics Society of Ireland Conference 2016 with Dr. Jamie Saris - Dept of Anthropology MUI, Maynooth University - eHealth Connect Conference, Meditech South Africa user's conference, the Women Advancement Forum Africa, Doctors 2.0 and You, Paris and The Women of Substance network. The Slides for these events can be viewed on Slideshare.

I have been appointed as an ePatient advisor and judge for eyeforpharma, Doctors 2.0 and You, Docola and


About Our Team

Creator: Vanessa Carter

Location: Ghat

Bio: Vanessa is an internationally recognised South African Facial Difference and MRSA (Antibiotic Resistance) e-Patient speaker. She is also the founder of hcsmSA which is an acronym for Health Care Social Media South Africa. She is an advisory board member for Doctors 2.0 and You (Associated to Stanford Medicine X), EyeforPharma, Docola, InfectionControl.Tips as well as The Walking Gallery of Healthcare by Regina Holliday. hcsmSA is a partner association to the Women Advancement Forum in Africa.

Hospital Affiliation: hcsmSA

Title: Founder

About Our Company


Location: 16 Village on Avon, Elm road
Elm road
Fourways, GT 1710

Founded: 2013



Twitter: @hcsmSA


Product Stage: Idea

YTD Sales: Working on it

Employees: 1-2

How We Help Physicians

The hcsmSA course is being designed to bridge the digital divide between doctor and patient by offering the basic fundamentals of online participation. The course will also provide the basic principals of best online practice modelled around local legislation which many HCP's have been weary of.

How We Help Hospitals

Digital Empowerment Courses to improve user engagement that improves the quality of data generated in health IT systems. Many provincial hospitals in South Africa still don't have the basic online resources like medical websites. These are important contact points for patients and if structured correctly could collect massive data clusters for diseases like AIDS or TB. They can also be a central resource to find peer-to-peer support networks as opposed to the public sites like Facebook. eGovernment needs to design these smart resources carefully to optimise agile population health data.

How We Help Partners

Digital Empowerment Courses to improve user engagement that improves the quality of data generated for health IT systems.

Innovation Details

Intellectual Property Summary

In this crowdfunding project I don't reveal the complete course, only public presentations.

Clinical Information

I have partnered with a private university so that we develop the course in-line with the necessary local government requirements. In this project, I require ePatient travel funding, however, a complete business proposal is available for the MOOC on special request with more detail.

Regulatory Status

None as an ePatient activist. The private university I work with is CPD accredited and will be handling the production and oversight of the course.

How we will use the funds raised


Stanford University Medicine X | Ed 2017
Travel costs are required to present at the Stanford University Medicine X | Ed 2017 (#medX) conference in Silicon Valley during 22-23 April where the hcsmSA abstract has been accepted as a rapid report for a medical education digital platform in South Africa.

HIMSS 2017
The hcsmSA founder, Vanessa Carter has been appointed as an HIMSS (#HIMSS17) social media ambassador in Orlando, Florida, USA. 

Each year HIMSS selects up to 20 health information technology leaders who demonstrate exceptional social media savviness in the advancement of health IT’s mission to improve health of populations. The 2016-2017 class of HIMSS Social Media Ambassadors will have the opportunity to:

  • Participate in social media-focused activities before, during and after HIMSS17
  • Receive complimentary, insider access to the HIMSS17 conference to highlight and nurture discussions from some of the industry’s brightest minds on social networks
  • Meet and interact with HIMSS executives and HIMSS17 speakers
  • Shape important, topically-driven dialogues leading up to and after HIMSS17
  • Host on-site networking events and deliver pulse reports on the happenings of the conference and the industry at large

The HIMSS Annual Conference & Exhibition, February 19–23, 2017 in Orlando, brings together 40,000+ health IT professionals, clinicians, executives and vendors from around the world. Exceptional education, world-class speakers, cutting-edge health IT products and powerful networking are hallmarks of this industry-leading conference."


eyeforpharma - International Pharmaceutical Awards 2017
The hcsmSA founder is appointed as an ePatient advisor and panel member to eyeforpharma International. She will be a special international ePatient adjudicator and VIP guest for the upcoming eyeforpharma awards (#efpAwards) which will be held in Barcelona during14-16 March 2017. The relevance of attending this event is placed on learning about ePharma and ePatient participation in clinical trials for South Africa. I continue to Brussels thereafter.

Further sponsorship opportunities to fund this ongoing MOOC are available on A detailed business proposal is available on special request.

An example of the MOOC content presented at various events both internationally and in South Africa is available below:



Thank You

Half Data is not Smart Data
During the digital transformation, it is important to leave no one behind. We need to break down silos and hierarchy so that we can work together. Disease travels not only by air or sea but also through the reproductive process. Understanding the evolutionary determinants by collecting holistic data will impact every human on earth. The hcsmSA vision is to empower every stakeholder with the skills to participate and engage online, even if at a grass-roots level. Technology can’t solve our global threats alone, the quality of data will also depend on how we educate and empower the users. (eCitizens)



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