Skoll World Forum
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Medic Mobile uses mobile technology to create connected, coordinated health systems that save lives.
They offer a free, scalable software toolkit that combines messaging, data collection, and analytics. It’s designed specifically for health workers and health systems in hard-to-reach areas and supports any language. It works with or without internet connectivity, locally or in the cloud. The tools run on basic phones, smartphones, tablets, and computers.
In six months, their pilot program in Malawi saved hospital staff 1,200 hours of follow-up time and over US$3,000 in motorbike fuel. More than 100 patients started tuberculosis treatment after their symptoms were noticed by community health workers and reported by text message.
Medic Mobile also helped coordinate The 4636 Project, an effort to create an emergency communications channel after the 2010 earthquake in Haiti. Using crowd-sourced translation, categorization, and geo-tagging, reports were created for first responders within five minutes of receiving an SMS. Over 80,000 messages were received in the first six weeks of operation, focusing relief efforts for thousands of Haitians.
There are more than one billion people in the world who may never see a doctor in their lifetime.
Medic Mobile's information platform uses cell phones, laptops, and text-messaging technology to support community healthcare workers.
Josh Nesbit aims to link healthcare workers to professional support, enabling them to monitor crucial health data and deliver better outcomes for patients.
Technology now supports glucose monitoring, appointment management, prenatal care, and stocks of crucial drugs.
Mobile devices “connect the dots,” linking healthcare workers to professional support, and enabling the health care system to support better outcomes for more patients, and to monitor crucial health data.
Expand capabilities and use of the platform
Partners (health care organizations and systems, and public health agencies) selected on the basis for potential impact deliver actual healthcare services, paying fees to use the platform.
Fees for service combined with philanthropic support for advancing system capabilities and core operations.
Josh Nesbit was a pre-medical student at Stanford in 2007 when he spent a summer in Malawi working with a rural hospital in Malawi treating malaria. Patients walked as far as 100 miles the hospital, which had just one doctor. Community health workers walked 35 miles to deliver reports. While in the field one day with a health worker, he realized that he had and stronger cell phone reception than he was used to in California. This shifted his focus from medicine to mobile health. He returned to the hospital in 2008 to pilot a six-month project with health workers, building an information platform using cell phones, a laptop, and text-messaging technology. The healthcare workers used mobile phones to register and stay in touch with patients, share information and get consultations with staff at regional hospitals and clinics. Launched in partnership with a technology company, the Medic Mobile system became an independent organization within a few years. Applications include monitoring outbreaks of infectious diseases, alert systems for vaccinations and maternal and child health care, tracking individual patient health indicators such as blood glucose levels, management of medical appointments, and managing stocks of critical medicines. At the time of the Award, more than 7,800 community health workers, supported by 39 partners in 21 countries, were using Medic Mobile’s tools.