Global Health Bridge

The mission of Global Health Bridge is to develop and implement simple, grassroots-inspired health technologies to transform and improve healthcare delivery for communities in need. We envision a world where every person can access the information and medical care they need regardless of where they are or where they come from. To that end, Global Health Bridge is developing a cell phone-based health information system that will enable community healthcare workers (CHWs) to provide uninterrupted care and follow-up, even in the most rural parts of the world. Our strategy is to work directly with CHWs in developing countries and their communities to identify problems and create solutions toget...

Global Health Bridge
125 Hobson Street, Unit 4A
San Jose, CA 95110
United States
609-933-4067
http://www.globalhealthbridge.org

Board of Directors

Jessica Wey, Emilie Pradera, Keisuke Nakagawa, Smisha Agarwal, Adam Berman

Mission

The mission of Global Health Bridge is to develop and implement simple, grassroots-inspired health technologies to transform and improve healthcare delivery for communities in need. We envision a world where every person can access the information and medical care they need regardless of where they are or where they come from. To that end, Global Health Bridge is developing a cell phone-based health information system that will enable community healthcare workers (CHWs) to provide uninterrupted care and follow-up, even in the most rural parts of the world. Our strategy is to work directly with CHWs in developing countries and their communities to identify problems and create solutions together. Even today, in most rural parts of the developing world, CHWs are the sole accessible health care providers to the poor. In the absence of readily accessible hospitals and doctors, CHWs have been tirelessly providing healthcare services to their communities. Many villages rely on their CHW for chronic and emergent conditions-and although many CHWs are unpaid volunteers or have another full-time job, they are passionately committed to seeing their patients through. The mission of Global Health Bridge is to help empower these CHWs to deliver even better healthcare to their patients in need. We seek to close gaps in primary healthcare in rural settings by improving the health data management of CHWs, By focusing on CHWs, Global Health Bridge taps into existing patient-health worker relationships, strengthening healthcare and trust by providing the relevant tool for capturing health data more reliably.

Programs

Maternal health has historically been, and continues to be, a crucial issue around the world, especially in developing regions. Each year, pregnancy complications result in 350,000 deaths worldwide and are the leading cause of death for 15-19 year-old women and adolescent girls in developing countries. Despite the best efforts of both governments and non-profit organizations globally, the world is still very far from achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) set in 2000 of reducing worldwide maternal health-related mortalities to 125,000 by 2015. One of the key means of reducing maternal mortality rates globally is to improve delivery of maternal health care services via critical antenatal visits. Today, fewer than 50% of women globally receive the minimum WHO recommended four antenatal visits during a pregnancy. The majority of these cases are in rural areas where healthcare access is limited and awareness of the importance of antenatal care is low. Community health workers (CHWs) are working to help reach these goals, but do not have the right tools to achieve this. The current method CHWs use to record health information is to manually write down information in paper records. Once the notebook is full, it is filed away in a storage space, most likely never to be referenced again. Furthermore, the average ratio of CHWs to patients is 1:1,000. As such, CHWs struggle constantly to keep track of patients using these archaic paper-based records. This often leads to both major and minor health care oversights including late delivery of services and missed patient visits or treatments. The negative impact of these issues is especially grave for medical conditions where timely delivery of health care services is crucial, such as with maternal health care and antenatal visits. In order to help solve this logistical dilemma, Global Health Bridge has created a cell phone based system for recording and retrieving patient data to digitally connect CHWs with their patients. In addition, the system reminds CHWs and patients of crucial visits to increase compliance. The solution might seem simple to the developed world, but is revolutionary for the developing world. Global Health Bridge is partnering with local software development firms and CHW networks to create cell-phone-based monitoring systems for large scale community health programs. These systems will create the first-ever integrated digital medical record platform for patients of CHWs. Our application guides CHWs through a voice-based menu on their cell phones to gather relevant data on their pregnant patients that then triggers automatic appointment reminders and aids in monitoring the health of high-risk patients. Unlike many other systems that follow the mentality of "if you build it, they will come," Global Health Bridge has created the platform alongside the CHWs - the ultimate customer for the platform. This is an important difference because it helps increase the likelihood of adoption and success. Thoughtful consideration has been put into developing the platform. For example, the voice who prompts the data collection is a female veteran CHW that many of the other CHWs recognize, trust and respect. We have just started training 16 CHWs, who are now testing this technology with their patients, and in turn, providing feedback on the relevancy and ease of adoption. Once the pilot phase is completed, we will optimize the platform based on the learnings and expand it to other areas. Global Health Bridge will transform CHWs' cell phones into a tool to deliver better healthcare to their communities. Using simple technology for data collection and follow-up reminders, we can create an invaluable health monitoring system, starting with maternal care.

Statistics on Global Health Bridge