HealthConnect – Heath Without Barriers

Luis Gabriel Montalván Alemán, Scarleth Vasconcelos Villavicencio, José Carlos Pulido, Pablo Antonio Burgos Altamirano, Roberto Emilio Rocha.
Universidad American College, Nicaragua

Describe your project in one sentence

Application of mobile and infographics for medical care in the North Atlantic Autonomous Region of Nicaragua (RAAN), 2014.
Link to 2-minute project video:

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Given that there are multiple difficulties of transportation, infrastructure, minimal equipment, shortage of doctors, paramedics, nurses and supplies of medicines, language and cultural barriers as well as economic and little access to medical services.The majority of patients with complicated diseases have to be moved to hospitals in Managua, where patients spend many economic difficulties to receive care and treatment required.

We suggest as a solution to such problems the creation of health campaigns. These consist of evaluation and distribution of infographics for the different diseases and viruses that appear on the area seasonally according to various climatic changes and other active factors. By graphically representing the different symptoms of each disease and listing them so people can identify which of these symptoms they have and go to a healthcare centre and in that way ensure they receive a more efficient service because the doctors will already know what symptoms the patient has.

The rate of infant mortality in the North Atlantic Region 49/1000 born, being the most affected Mulukuku with a 66.2% according to sources of the Ministry of health.

Our projects intend to:

1)To crowdsource information from patients to have more productive for health centre, thus having the specific medicines related to the seasonal diseases in the region
(2) Create an agreement with a mobile company in Nicaragua.
(3)Train the population on the are with first aid training.

(4)Teach better cleaning practices to the local populations through the use of steam cleaners

Intends to redesign health centres logistics by having a volunteer or nurse that through the help of infographics with the diseases symptoms will recollect data to send to the doctor. In this way the citizens who feel a discomfort of any kind can go ahead contact the health center that will be near their area and through direct contact or the volunteer (if they don’t know how to read or write) they will message the nearest doctor with the symptoms (that will be included on the infographic and labeled with numbers) and at the end send a message related to the state of the patients. With “B” being bad, “S” Severe.

The doctor will call the volunteer or nurse and answer the medical questions the patient might have and provide a diagnosis for the possible disease and indicate to the medical services of the Health Center Assistant which medications he/she should use with appropriate measures.

To make an agreement with telephone companies physicians will have unlimited phone service to return the call to patients and support numbers will have the 8-digit numbers because
they will be corporate and easier to mark.

-Also, a Medical team will visit every four months (3 times a year) each health centre located in remote areas. These visits will be for control of terminal illness and others. At the same time to make monthly checks that are critical to know the status of patients in the area.

-Also, we will be working collaboratively with the Ministry of health to provide vaccines and medications. The creation of a medical pantry would be of great benefit for the inhabitants, and so they will not have to travel for hours just to get their medications.

What is innovative about your idea? How does it add value?

By implementing this project, doctors will have the advantage of knowing which diseases are affecting which remote area, and at the same time patients will not have to travel long distances for medicines or health centre services.

It creates an independence of for the areas affected on the RAAN and introduces mobile technology as a means of health care enactor. It also involves young citizens in reproductive planning, cultural health (food and hygiene practices) model strategies and would take a more active approach towards controlling the diseases affecting the area.

This project is sustainable since it does not require great investment and is simply a matter of executing, it only requires a logical framework with teamwork and involving companies such as the telephone companies in this case and work along with the Ministry of health.

A real solution towards a real problem in Nicaragua’s RAAN.
How does your project address social inequities?

The Autonomous Atlantic Region North of Nicaragua (RAAN), is a silent victim of institutionalised segregation. With a varied population compose of indigenous and Afro-Carribean descents, the RAAN has been affected in various ways.

This project seeks to destroy that institutionalised apathy towards the region. If the Connectivity Challenge could be defined as a country … the answer would be Nicaragua.