Connecting the Unconnected: Launch of Medical and Health Internet-in-a-Box
Wiki Project Med Foundation, Internet-in-a-Box and HealthPhone are excited to announce the launch of an offline distribution system that they have developed for delivering life-saving medical and healthcare information to those in need.
How and from where can mothers and communities get the essential healthcare and nutrition information they need to look after themselves and their families?
The Internet is a unique platform that today enables direct communication among nearly 3.5 billion people and is fast becoming the world's main portal to humanity's accumulated knowledge.
Nevertheless, in India, only just more than a third of the country's 1.35 billion people are connected to the internet, leaving over 800 million without access. Further, connectivity is unevenly distributed:
Connecting the Unconnected
Thus, for the unconnected over 60% of Indians, who are predominantly female, low-income and rural, lack of access to the internet can affect every facet of their lives – from how they manage family health to how they communicate and ultimately how long they will live.
The South Asia version contains
- Full Wikipedia in 23 Indian Languages,
- The Global Emergency Medicine Wiki,
- Wikipedia Medical Encyclopedia in English and Farsi,
- Over 1,000 HealthPhone Healthcare and Nutrition videos across 22 Indian languages,
- 47 HealthPhone Nutrition mobile apps across 18 languages, and
- Children for Health's '100 Health Messages' in 5 languages
Ideal for key influencers, service providers, enablers, hospitals and medical training institutions, the device is being sold for the costs of the hardware, taxes and shipping (₹1,999. / US$30.).
• To see an online example: http://medbox.iiab.me/
• To buy online: http://thingbits.net/
James Heilman, MD
Wiki Project Med Foundation
The Mother and Child Health and Education Trust
Notes to editors
A Growing Health Worker Shortage
WHO estimates that by 2030, there will be a projected global shortage of 18 million health workers to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals, mostly in low- and lower-middle-
How and from where will mothers and communities get the health and nutrition information they need to look after themselves and their families?
Access to Internet
Solutions to address the lack of Internet connectivity in India have been limited and will occur alongside other infrastructure improvements in low-resource settings. However, the political will and market forces do not exist to spur this kind of infrastructural investment.
Despite its widespread proliferation, while men outnumber women in terms of Internet usage in all regions of the world.
We need to focus on addressing the barriers to women's access to and use of the Internet. There is a need to address issues of gender equality and social norms, as well as focusing on accessibility;
Serving the least served
When people are given the opportunity to be active participants in their own care, instead of passive recipients, and their human rights are respected, the patient outcomes are better and health systems become more efficient.
Main Audience: Women and men, pregnant women, mothers of children under two years of age
Secondary Audience – Key influencers:
Enablers: Enablers in the community: Self Help Group members, Adolescent groups, Panchayati Raj Institutions, Community leaders
Who is it for
• Initially, National and State Ministries of Health will distribute to their frontline health workers (ASHA). They, in turn, will use them to disseminate the healthcare and nutrition knowledge, in local languages, during their regular visits with the populations they serve. The general norm for selecting ASHA in urban area is ''One ASHA for every 1000-2500 population". Since houses in urban context are generally located within a very small geographic area an ASHA can cover about 200-500 households depending upon the spatial consideration.
• The staff of UNOs and NGOs will use it during their visits to the field while following up on their programmes and initiatives.
• Government hospitals will use it to train their doctors, nurses and broadcast in waiting rooms - people are always waiting to be served and have nothing to do while they wait. The right audience at the right place.
• Ideal for broadcasting to concentrated populations in urban slums, like Dharavi in Mumbai.
• Health Fairs that rural populations visit when regularly organised in local villages.
• Universities and other medical teaching institutions.
• Ideal for use during emergencies and disaster.
Nand Wadhwani - Founding Trustee