Josh Nesbit | Medic Mobile
Fellows work to maximize the impact of their ideas through design. They work through a systematic process driven by the five elements of scalability: real impact, big bang for the buck, lasting behavior change, easy replication, and the right path to scale. Fellows participate in the program for two years, working through several design iterations.
THE IDEA: Medic Mobile
Cell phone text messages that save lives: reusing cell phones and cheap text messaging to help health organizations extend care via community health workers
HOW IT WORKS
- Clinic or organization contacts Medic Mobile
- Consult /explore mobile technology applications
- Design system for use
- Gather resources (Hope Phones collection campaign, fundraising)
- Support community partner in implementation
- FSM continually tracks changes in delivery, with good metrics and continually refines systems
THE PERSON: Josh Nesbit
Josh Nesbit is a soccer star making things better through text-messaging
Josh showed up at Stanford as a soccer star and is leaving as a social entrepreneur. He ran into a cool technology that allows cell phones and a laptop to create a cheap text-messaging network, and ended up splitting his time between Stanford and a hospital in rural Malawi. Josh graduated in June 2009, navigating thesis deadlines while running the organization from his dorm room.
It’s estimated that there is a shortage of more than 4 million doctors and nurses in the third World. The best way to deliver effective HIV/AIDS, malaria, and tuberculosis care is to create networks of community health workers (CHWs), but it is hard to support them and coordinate care. Josh Nesbit saw an opportunity to take a simple technology called FrontLine SMS – a way to create communications via a single laptop and cell phones - and apply it to CHW systems. He launched a pilot program with 100 recycled cell phones and a donated laptop with a rural hospital in Malawi. They connected 100 CHWs to the clinical staff and hospital resources using simple text messaging, and had remarkable results. Current pilots in Uganda and Malawi each serve more than 1 million people. Josh has made it simple for new organizations to adopt the technology and over 30 clinics in 20 countries are replicating the system with the help of Medic Mobile.