How can healthcare be made more accessible?

Posted by Kunal Nandwani on 29 May, 2018

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13 Solutions

Jet Injectors for Vaccines

Posted by Earthr.org Content Team on 25 Aug, 2018

Vaccines and immunisations are crucial in curbing the impacts of diseases and illnesses around the world. But safely administering a vaccine in a developing nation can be difficult with the complexities of sterilisation, especially when it comes to often misused needles.

Jet Injectors help solve this problem, delivering vaccines to patients using pressure to penetrate the skin, rather than needles. The single-use medical device administers a vaccine through a fine stream of fluid that passes through skin into tissue. The solution is cost-effective and highly efficient, using up to 80 percent less vaccine than a traditional needle injection.

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Hemafuse

Posted by Earthr.org Content Team on 25 Aug, 2018

The Hemafuse, from Sisu Global Health, takes the donation and storage barriers out of blood transfusions, recycling a person's own blood back into their body. The low-cost device acts like a large syringe, collecting blood and filtering it internally to remove clots and other particulates. The blood can then be deposited into a blood bag, where it can be pumped back into a patient's body. In emergency situations and during childbirth, blood transfusions are often necessary to save a person's life. But in poor nations, access to a safe, reliable blood supply is relatively rare, leading to preventable deaths each year.

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Flo - Menstual Hygiene Kit

Posted by Earthr.org Content Team on 25 Aug, 2018

Flo, a simple, reusable menstrual hygiene kit, provides a solution for women and girls in developing nations to care for their bodies. The low-cost kit includes reusable pads, a wearable pouch to carry them and a washer-dryer container for improved cleanliness. Lack of access to menstrual products has devastating impacts on women and girls in developing nations. 

The inability to cope with menstruation often keeps girls out of school, with girls in Kenya missing an average of five days of school per month due to periods. Improper menstruation sanitation also has devastating health impacts, with 70 percent of all reproductive diseases in India caused by poor menstrual hygiene.

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Embrace Warmer

Posted by Earthr.org Content Team on 25 Aug, 2018

More than 1 million babies die on the day of their birth every year. A staggering 90 percent of these deaths occur in developing nations, where hypothermia is a common cause of death in premature and low-weight infants. 

Embrace Warmer is essentially an infant sleeping bag, helping to regulate a baby's body temperature during their vulnerable first days. The award-winning innovation is reusable, low-cost and requires no electricity, making it ideal for poor communities around the globe. 

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Lucky Iron Fish

Posted by Earthr.org Content Team on 25 Aug, 2018

Iron deficiency is the most widespread nutritional disorder in the world, affecting an estimated 3.5 billion people. It can be especially devastating in developing nations, where nutritional needs are often unmet. Iron deficiency alone can lead to anaemia, low energy and difficulty concentrating. Lucky Iron Fish is an iron, fish-shaped object that families can place in a pot of boiling water prior to cooking to enrich vegetables with additional iron.

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NIFTY Cup

Posted by Earthr.org Content Team on 25 Aug, 2018

When an infant in a developing country is unable to nurse, they're at risk of severe malnutrition — or even death.NIFTY cup is solving this issue in rural areas of Africa. Developed over five years, the Neonatal Intuitive Feeding TechnologY (NIFTY) cup was designed with a spout that makes collected milk easy to drink by infants with cleft palates or other related issues that prevent proper latching. The cup, which is reusable and costs only $1 to create, has already been credited with preventing starvation of infants in poor African communities.

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Safari Seat - Wheelchairs for rough terrains

Posted by Earthr.org Content Team on 25 Aug, 2018

Wheelchairs are essential devices for many people, but in rural, developing areas with rough terrain and few roads, traditional wheelchairs aren't always practical — or even usable. SafariSeat is a low-cost, all-terrain wheelchair designed to be manufactured and maintained in poor countries, creating a self-sustaining product. The innovation is made of bicycle parts, and the device is propelled forward by hand levers and durable wheels. The seat is projected to start production in Kenya in the coming months.

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Life Saving Dot

Posted by Earthr.org Content Team on 25 Aug, 2018

In rural India, thousands of women are estimated have iodine deficiency, which has been linked to breast cancer, fibrocystic breast disease and pregnancy complications. But the Life Saving Dot, an iodine-rich variation on a traditional bindi, is helping provide women with the vital mineral. 

The dot, which is worn between a woman's eyebrows just like a bindi, delivers a wearer with the recommended daily amount of iodine. The Life Saving Dot only costs 10 rupees — or 16 cents — for a packet of 30, fitting the budgets of women in rural India.

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Sirum - Connecting organisations with surplus medications to patients in need

Posted by Earthr.org Content Team on 25 Aug, 2018

Supporting Initiatives to Redistribute Unused Medicine(SIRUM) is a social enterprise started by Stanford University students to decrease the amount of medicines and medical supplies that go waste by redistributing unused and non-expired drugs to free and low cost medical clinics. These unexpired drugs are collected from manufacturers, wholesalers, pharmacies and health facilities. Medicines go to clinics and pharmacies and are dispensed to low-income patients.

Since unused medication is usually dumped or burned and ends up in our waterways and air, SIRUM also helps saves the environment.

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Bone Aid

Posted by Earthr.org Content Team on 23 Aug, 2018

The Bone Aid is a simple flat-packed board with a printed folding guide. The guide allows it to be folded in three different ways, making it an effective cast for elbows, legs or ankles. All one does is tear the Bone Aid out in the desired shape, follow the folding patterns, clip it into place and secure it with straps. 

Since it’s made out of PolyPropylene (PP), it can be folded easily into its desired shapes. Plus, used widely in the food industry, PP is safe to use in food and medical applications. With its three-birds-one-stone approach, the Bone Aid is perfect for areas with little to no access to medical expertise and equipment.

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Moving Care: Getting Medicine to your Urban Community

Posted by Siddhant Bhandari on 25 Jun, 2018

Urban logistics is a struggle and particularly in Bangladesh. 60% of urban dwellers in Bangladesh live in slums and the effects of unplanned urbanization that slums represent leave the urban poor with inadequate facilities, including healthcare. The challenge is to improve access to pharmaceuticals in the urban slum communities of Dhaka, Bangladesh in an environmentally conscious manner. Although many cities are plagued with congestion on the roads, Dhaka is particularly bad. Indeed, it is regularly ranked in the top 10 for congestion, and often receives other dubious awards, such as ‘highest air lead poison” and “worst air.’ This, combined with its overall poor healthcare access (bottom 20%, WHO), makes Dhaka an ideal place to develop an environmentally conscious strategy that addresses access to pharmaceuticals. 

The idea proposed by Brittany Johnson in response to the OpenIdeo challenge on 'urban resilience' works by using a franchise-based, mobile-spoke - and- hub model to deliver pharmaceuticals to the urban poor. Entrepreneurial pharmacists would become franchisees of the company and earn money based on an algorithm that takes into account the type and number of products sold. The revenue that remained after the sale of the product would be given to the owner of the company, who would:

  • purchase quality-assured products
  • pay for upkeep of the trucks
  • pay their staff/themselves

The entrepreneurs would pay a franchising fee that would provide them with access to (a) a small truck; (b) fuel; and (c) a set inventory of pharmaceuticals.

Beneficiaries are threefold: owner of the model, entrepreneurial pharmacist, patient served. The owner can get a higher return on investment on her start-up capital (trucks, inventory) than she could otherwise in the Bangladesh market. The entrepreneurial pharmacist can sell more pharmaceutical products than she could if she were located at a stationary pharmacy. The patient can access quality-assured pharmaceuticals in neighborhoods were these were previously unavailable.

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YOLO Health: Health ATMs

Posted by Vivek Mehta on 29 May, 2018

YOLO Health’s health ATMs take most of a patient’s primary care readings and connect them with a doctor over video chat for further consultation. Additionally, they lend a hand to more rural areas in India where full-time doctors are rare. Founded by Dhilly Babu, Shreyans Gandhi and Arpit Mishra from India, YOLO Health is able to deliver complete primary care.

A patient sitting at the ATM gets walked through the specific tests and services it offers. To help out, especially in rural areas where residents speak a dialect, an attendant sits closeby to answer a patient’s questions or help with tasks like putting on the ATM’s blood pressure cuff correctly. The helper doesn’t have to be a trained medical professional at all – he or she just needs to speak the local language.

The ATM’s services can function over a slow 2G or 3G connection as finding data service in remote parts of the country is difficult. YOLO Health also operates an offline model for locations with no to poor connectivity, where all health screenings and video consultations could be performed offline without any connection. In this case, the video can be recorded and sent later when the connection is back – or when the power comes back on.

Patients using the ATM pay per test and consultation. A basic health screening is free. For an advanced health screening, a patient can pay US$2.25. A doctor consultation costs US$3.75, while a specialist consultation is US$5.25. Additional tests, such as for a heart screening or diabetes check-up, cost around the same amount.

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Triage project: Serving communities in need

Posted by Vivek Mehta on 29 May, 2018

On the outskirts of Saudi Arabian cities like Jeddah and Riyadh, poor communities struggle with sanitation issues and often lack basic medical necessities. To change this, two young women, Dr. Shaista Hussain and Princess Sama Faissal Al Saud created the Triage Project, a healthcare training program for volunteers and an accompanying data collection system.

The Triage Project is a local community service initiative that uses the patented Triage Software to train volunteers in clinical skills and practice in the field. This project will serve community participants with clinical screenings and referrals to government hospitals based on need. The project was launched in Riyadh in January, 2016. All volunteers undergo a 1-day, 2-hour training program to become versed in the use of the application. Trainees are also taught the importance of good ethical practice and are offered a renewal of their Basic Life Support Training. Upon successful completion of the training course, volunteers are invited to participate in field trips to communities in need, to use the application and offer supportive care for those in need. hose in need.

In order to compile medical data (like healthcare review, clinical history and a referrals) in a secure and efficient way, the co-founders launched an app, which allows volunteers to add more detailed information on symptoms, including videos and photos to document and describe the afflicting conditions. A color-coded system enables effective referrals. Depending on the information entered by the volunteer, the algorithm will determine how urgent the situation is: a yellow flag means the patient likely needs urgent care, a red flag indicates immediate emergency care. In terms of security, no data that is entered can be saved on the user's mobile device. The app is layered with security features to protect the privacy of the patients and maintain the patient’s anonymity after the initial medical file is generated.

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