Fundación EHAS

This Entry has been submitted.

Fundación EHAS

Project Stage:
$1,000 - $10,000
Project Summary
Elevator Pitch

Concise Summary: Help us pitch this solution! Provide an explanation within 3-4 short sentences.

Andrés Martínez Fernández is improving the performance of rural healthcare systems in developing countries through creative, inexpensive telecommunication technologies and by engaging medical professionals and university faculty in new ways. The model he established has proven successful in over 170 centers and outposts in Peru, Cuba and Colombia, improving medical care for more than 150,000 people.

About Project

Solution: What is the proposed solution? Please be specific!

Andres is turning dysfunctional and poorly communicated public healthcare systems into highly efficient networks that are able to quickly respond to healthcare needs in rural areas. Through systems improvements he is closing the communication gaps between the rural medical outposts that serve remote villages – staffed with lightly trained paramedics and lacking both electricity and telephone connections – and the medical centers where the reference doctor works. By creating functional communication processes between these professionals, he allows them to save the valuable time normally spent traveling between locations for reports and consultations, and in so doing, drastically enhances their effectiveness as medical staff. To achieve this, he is working with local medical staff and engineers to design and provide simple, cheap and sustainable technological solutions that allow two-way fluid communication while saving the public healthcare system important financial expenses related to inefficiency as well as travelling costs. Through the process improvements Andres is implementing, he is redefining the doctors’ and medical workers’ roles from being challenged beyond their abilities, dealing with difficult decisions on their own, to forming part of a network of professionals with whom they can consult and work together. By improving their communication network, he is giving these professionals full access to the healthcare system’s resources which include ongoing training, exchanging medical and epidemiological information, and specialist consultation for individual cases. This enables them to grow professionally, gain confidence, and overcome the feeling of isolation that generally accompanies working in remote villages, while also bringing the public healthcare system closer to its calling to provide citizens with full medical assistance no matter where they live. Another key innovative element of Andres’ model resides in enabling access to new resources to improve public healthcare system’s performance in rural areas. Aware of the vast potential local universities have, he is giving them a new role as changemakers for transforming the rural realities around them. Through partnerships with telecommunication engineering and medical departments in local universities, he is engaging professors and students to take the lead in designing and launching these changes. By involving these new actors in the research and implementation from day one, Andres attracts key university faculty into a new field of work – technology applied to rural health – where they can become world renowned experts while improving their rural reality. He takes them from being theoretical researchers to leading hands-on multi-disciplinary teams that continue researching, testing and implementing new solutions to the rural healthcare needs. These teams work directly with the doctors and health technicians on the field. This gives Andres’ model the stability and sustainability from local players instead of having to depend on foreign aid.