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Building a Health Community: There’s an App for That

Throughout Asia, Africa and Latin America, there are entire communities that live 100 or more miles from a healthcare provider.  How can healthcare workers in those countries ensure that sick people are treated and children are receiving proper vaccinations?  It turns out there’s an app for that.

Josh Nesbit, a pre-medical undergraduate student at Stanford, spent a summer in rural Malawi working in a hospital. While there, he realized St. Gabriels was the only hospital for 100 miles in all directions. Patients and the community health workers who staffed the hospital often had to walk great distances just to receive and provide care.

He also noticed something else – that the Malawian village oddly had stronger cell phone reception than some places back at his home in California.

Nesbit returned to the Malawian hospital again, this time with a suitcase of $10 Nokia phones and a mission to open the lines of communication for the hospital. He created Medic Mobile, a healthcare app designed to run on any basic phone and leverage existing mobile connections.

According to Medic Mobile, “In the app, community health workers are guided through actions — such as screening for high-risk pregnancies or diagnosing and providing treatments for children. It also shows progress towards their goals, and allows remote health workers to communicate with contacts and central support teams.”

By removing the need for physical presence in some aspects of healthcare, Medic Mobile saves both time and money in their mission to provide assistance to those in need.

Now Medic Mobile serves 23 countries.

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