The objective of BaAfrika is to develop and manage a comprehensive digital imaging collection of South Africans as a capacity building resource for improvement in internationalization of HEI’s. Establishing universal SOP’s for storing and utilizing digital images are paramount for medical and biomedical professionals. Outputs will impact teaching and research in HEI’s, forensic science, healthcare, and business such as dental implant companies.
This project aims to: 1) develop, maintain, and manage a comprehensive digital imaging database on South Africans, storage of this digital collection will be on a DSAN server at Nesca, 2) develop quality assurance guidelines via SOPs for the access and ethical use of the images in this database, and 3) to use this database to establish strategic relationships with partners abroad for the purpose of stimulating the international dissemination of knowledge. The benefits of a digital repository includes: 1) invaluable and unqiue resource for research and teaching; 2) a large, centralized databank with quality control (SOP’s), 3) sustainability with long-term, safe storage and documentation of digital data. Creating SOPs for acquisition of data and ethical use supports: 1) inclusiveness of all researchers and educators; 2) worldwide accessibility, harmonization and internationlization of data, and 3) promote postgraduate research and obtainment of advanced qualifications in HEI’s. The scanned images will be used to establish collaborative research networks between South African and European partners with exchange of teaching technology and experiences through workshops.
The development of SOP’s will provide management and ethical guidelines for current and future researchers. Future curriculum development in health sciences and collaborative research is dependent on the ease of access to digital data. Teaching facilitation will improve in HEI’s with the use of 2D and 3D reconstructed scan images of anatomical structures in online modalities, flipped classrooms and blended learning techniques, which will be beneficial in to capacity building and internalization of all HEI’s. Research outputs will impact education and business and will be a benefit to the health and safety of communities. Forensic sciences will benefit from computerized programmes to approximate the face from unknown remains, novel methods for establishing a biological profile for an unidentified person, new technologies in artificial intelligences and health informatics. South Africans will benefit from the optimisation and customisation of the dental implant and prosthetic designs as well as endodontic and orthodontic therapies. Periodontology partners will develop screening tools to combat the worldwide threat on non-communicable disease.