Mobilizing Mobile Records in Resource Poor Settings

The cool thing about grants is that they will often fund the neat idea you have. The not-so-cool thing is that they generally take a lot of work and luck to be accepted.

My good friend Isaac Holeman and I entered an application on Friday to NetSquared/USAID’s Development 2.0 challenge. They’re looking to give $10,000 dollars to a project using mobile technology (like SMS or phone-based applications) that “[maximize] development impact in areas such as health, banking, education, agricultural trade, or other pressing development issues.” We think we’ve got just the idea.

We’d like to put together a bridge between mobile phones, potentially FrontlineSMS, and OpenMRS, a super neat medical records system that is beginning to gain a lot of traction in Africa because of Paul Farmer’s Partners In Health. Specifically, this would allow community health workers in the field to access and interact with the medical records database. This would, for instance, allow them to instantly query the last time a tuberculosis patient had reported taking their treatment medicine. Isaac and I are also very interested in sorting together an OpenMRS module that would “watch” the data going in and out of the database. If a bit of data passed through tagged with, say, “#emergency”, it would go to whomever the on-call doctor was. This type of functionality, as far as we can tell, doesn’t already exist. We think it would be sweet if it did.

Now, most of this project is in the very preliminary stages. With your help, though, and funding from NetSquared/USAID, we can take it to the next step. Here’s the details:

  • Voting started on Monday and will run until Friday at 5:00 pm Pacific.
  • To vote on our application, you must first register.
  • Once you’ve registered, you then have one (1) ballot with up to five (5) votes. You have to vote at least three (3) times.

Our application is called “Mobilizing Medical Records In Resource Poor Settings“. We would be very much obliged if you took the time to vote for us and, if you do and leave a comment on this blog post, I’ll send you a personal thank you.

Also, if you don’t know who else to vote for, there were a few other projects which caught my eye:

Most importantly, I think these types of projects show that mobile connectivity has tremendous potential to empower positive change. We think our project can do the same for healthcare. Thanks for the support!

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