Explain what the "innovation" is about, e.g., is it the idea and/or the model you use to accomplish the idea, or your understanding of the target population, etc.?
Our Broadband Global Access Network is a solar-powered system connected to batteries, a cellular repeater, a charging strip, and light. Once we provide phone access to these remote locations on the Kusapin Peninsula in Panama, we can use the GPS from the smartphones we provide to see where an emergency is taking place. As we dispatch a medical professional to the location, a person can provide first-aid guidance to the caller. Additionally, the phones will allow for more efficient communication, planning, and follow-up care for patients. All of the other benefits that connection to the internet provides will be included as well. Finally, we will be able to collect data in real-time that can be shared with health workers throughout the world from remote regions. We will lease these units to non and for-profit organizations, offering a suite of services suitable to each organization's needs. This revenue will allow us to implement microloans and EMR systems via phone apps to these communities. We will have the ability to collect data and distribute microloans to people and organizations throughout the world in short fashion.
Describe how your innovation model is distinct from any other organization in your field?
Our ability to supply internet access to such a remote region and The Floating Doctors boat-based care system makes it possible to respond and treat people in very inaccessible locations. We also intend to combine multiple parts from several sectors into a hybrid model that combines hard infrastructure, phone app design, microloans, and EMR. In this age of technology, why should we have to pick one when the ease of implementing all as a cohesive whole only makes each component part more effective?
What type of operating environment and internal organizational factors make your innovation successful?
The Floating Doctors and I have worked in this region of Panama for over three years. We have official approval from tribal leadership and community support for this project. Additionally, Digicel, a major telecom company in Panama, has already agreed to help support and advise the project. Alex Blum also speaks the indigenous language. Our knowledge of the area also allows us to help facilitate the organization of several artisan and food businesses that are already in existence in the region. By connecting these groups their success will increase significantly.
How do you make sure you constantly innovate in light of (potential) external challenges, or your growth plan?
Our extensive experience working in developing nations has taught us that nothing goes according to plan. By working collaboratively with the local leadership that we have grown our relationships with over several years, we are confident that we can overcome and challenges that may arise.