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Tech for Cause

Problem : 287,000 women died due to pregnancy or childbirth complications in 2010. The most important causes of maternal mortality include severe bleeding(aggravated in the presence of anemia), infections and high blood pressure. Other important factors are lack of health education and accessibility to healthcare. 6.3 million children under the age of five died in 2013. Pneumonia and diarrhoea are the top killers for children under the age of 5. Risk factors include malnutrition, non-breastfed children. Most of the previous causes can be attributed to lack of health education which has been neglected in developing countries resulting in high morbidity and mortality rates from preventable diseases. Being a doctor, I am determined to reduce maternal and child morbidity and mortality by utilizing technology in health education and increasing access to healthcare to every mother and child in the developing world. 

Solution : We aim to provide interactive, accessible and accurate health education to potentially every mobile owner in the world. We developed an application that is morbidity and mortality oriented. The application is highly interactive, where it focuses on the main causes of mortality and morbidity like preeclampsia, urinary tract infections and malnutrition. The application takes into consideration the gestational age of the user and asks her frequently about symptoms of common diseases accordingly. It will show her the appropriate investigations and allow to input lab tests to guide her to the appropriate management. The application directly connects her to a specialist of Obs/Gyn to answer her questions accurately thereby increasing healthcare accessibility. We are also developing a similar mobile application for children. We are also developing a highly interactive application for pediatricians to provide them accessible crucial medical data. 

Innovation : Maternal and child mortality and morbidity can be directly linked to health illiteracy and inaccessibility to health care. In order to elaborate how lack of health education can contribute directly to high levels of morbidity and mortality for mother and child, I would give an example with preeclampsia which is considered the no.2 killer for pregnant ladies. Preeclampsia is a medical condition caused due to elevated and neglected hypertension in the third trimester. Educating pregnant ladies of the importance of frequently measuring blood pressure specially in the the third trimester can result in early detection of the condition and hence early management and a better prognosis. Asymptomatic bacturia is a fairly benign condition that can cause acute pyelonephritis, which is a serious complication in pregnant ladies that results in high levels of mortality and morbidity. The application urges the user to undergo a simple urine test by educating her about the danger of the condition, then the user will be informed whether this value is normal or not and guide her for the next appropriate step. We believe that knowledge is power. Providing the community with health education that aims to promote their health and implement preventive medicine can greatly reduce morbidities and mortalities and greatly reduce the health bill paid by the government and the families in addition . Based on this, we decided to spread accurate health education by utilising technology in the form of mobile applications. The use of mobiles in general and mobile internet has grown vastly in Egypt, according to the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology in Egypt nine out of 100 persons in Egypt use mobile internet, adding that subscriptions to mobile internet have been increasing steadily since 2009, with an average annual growth of around 54%. Although an internet connection is required in a few features of the application, it mainly operates offline which means that it can be virtually used by any smartphone owner. A single investment into an application can be very easily replicated into any other language to be used by anyone which makes our solution highly replicable and scalable with great cost effectiveness. In addition to being highly interactive, we ensure the accuracy of the information provided by partnering with recognised medical entities to revise and refine the medical data. We have partnered with the Egyptian ministry of Health and the Egyptian medical association for MRCPCH holders to produce our applications. In addition to medical applications that target the general public, we aim to improve the medical service provided by doctors through providing them with highly interactive applications that will enable them to undergo very complex equations and graph extrapolations that can consume a lot of time and effort in a click of a button. Thereby providing continuous medical education and ensuring better medical service and greater performance, hence contributing to the overall health of our community. Our solution is appealing to many stakeholders like pharmaceutical companies, doctors and hospitals which can generate enough revenue to ensure our sustainability. In conclusion, our solution provides highly accurate, morbidity and mortality oriented information in a very cost-effective, replicable, sustainable and scalable manner.  

Scalability : We are currently developing two categories of mobile applications:- -Health educational applications that aims to aims to eradicate health illiteracy in our community. -Applications to be used by doctors as a source of medical education and to ensure their efficiency and save their precious time. Doctors' applications will be mainly in English, since most doctors across the globe use English as the standard language of education. In the case of applications targeting the community, we aim to partner with all embassies of the developing world to translate it to their languages and provide it free of charge to be utilised by their people. Since our users can be virtually from allover the globe, interested local medical entities like hospitals, pharmaceutical companies and doctors can provide us with adequate funds to ensure our sustainability. Any mobile application service is essentially scalable due to the fact that anyone in the world can use it. The great demand and lack of similar services with an equivalent quality gives us a huge market edge to spread allover the world and thereby find sponsors from allover the globe. 

Business model : We are currently developing two categories of mobile applications:- -Health educational applications that aims to aims to eradicate health illiteracy in our community. -Applications to be used by doctors as a source of medical education and to ensure their efficiency and save their precious time. In Egypt, doctors (working in private clinics), private hospitals and pharmacies spend vast amounts of money to reach patients as part of their marketing strategies. We are essentially providing them with a marketing solution that is highly cost-effective and efficient while at the same time raising health awareness and reducing morbidity and mortality. Regarding doctors' applications, pharmaceutical companies spend billions of dollars on doctors' education and as part of their marketing strategies. Since we are developing applications that will make doctor's (specially paediatricians) lives much easier by sparing them the frustrating calculations and literally tens of graphs that they need to carry around during their residency, pharmaceutical companies will be very eager to sponsor such an application that will be used by junior doctors on daily basis for about 3 years (duration of their residency). This will greatly benefit the pharmaceutical companies and simultaneously enhance the performance and medical education of doctors thereby improving healthcare in our community. The cost of producing a single application is essentially the salaries of the team members and some minor utility overhead expenses. We are capable of producing 2 applications per month. Our total monthly salaries add to $1600 and the average sales for 2 applications would add to $6250. Our cost will be greatly reduced by our recruitment plan for intern programmers and designers where we provide them free training in return to producing free projects for us with no fees. 


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