Using Mobile Technology to Measure Health Impacts of Water Interventions
Emma Westermann-Clark and Helen D’Couto
MIT Student Chapter
One of the most exciting trends in global health is the increasing use of mobile phone technology to improve medical diagnosis, treatment, and public health in developing countries. Mobile technology can also be used to measure the impact of water interventions. ClickDiagnostics is doing just that. Click is working with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) chapter of Engineers without Borders on a clean water, energy and health project Uganda. The team is working in the village of Ddegeya and the Engeye Clinic on clean water, energy, and health innovations. The overall goal of this 5 year partnership isto enable the community to meet its basic needs and expand the capabilities of the clinic.
Click’s software provides an easy way for community health workers to gather data on incidence of symptoms, like diarrhea, that may signify underlying public health problems attributable to lack of potable
water. The information is transmitted from rural villages to a regional network of doctors. Community health workers gather not only public health data but also diagnostic information. For example, health workers snap a photo of a patient’s skin rash, then send it to a dermatologist who remotely diagnoses and treats the patient. Click’s vision includes providing low-cost, high-quality care to individuals who cannot easily access healthcare, gathering data needed for public health interventions, and spurring local entrepreneurship. To ensure sustainability, Click leverages local talent by seeking individuals who are motivated to invest both time and money in improving their own communities.
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