From 23 to 25 November 2021, the first annual meeting for the IMPALA project (An Innovative Monitoring system for PAediatrics in Low-resource settings: an Aid to save lives) took place in Zomba and Blantyre, Malawi. The project brought together partners from Training & Research Unit of Excellence (TRUE, Malawi), Kamuzu University of Health Sciences – College of Medicine (KUHeS, Malawi), Malawi University of Business and Applied Sciences (MUBAS, Malawi), GOAL 3 (the Netherlands), National eHealth Living Lab (NELL, the Netherlands) and the Amsterdam Institute for Global Health & Development (AIGHD, the Netherlands). They were joined virtually by partners from Imperial College London (ICL, UK) and VU Amsterdam University (the Netherlands).

The consortium discussed the progress that has been made in developing an affordable, durable and user-friendly monitoring system for hospitalised children in low-resource settings. The partners made steps towards finalising the protocols for ethical clearance and the data management plan. They also discussed the steps to be taken for regulatory approval by the Malawian Ministry of Health. The Scientific Advisory Board and the Stakeholder Steering Committee provided invaluable feedback to the consortium for the development of the monitoring device.

In addition to presentations on the progress of the project, the partners also worked together in team-building challenges and visited the Zomba Hospital and Mercy James Hospital where the monitoring device will be tested. The consortium also welcomed three new PhD students who will be starting their fellowships in Big Data, Social Science and Biomedicine. With this meeting, the building blocks were set for a fruitful collaboration in the coming years.