I think it’s pretty clear when we talk about the needs of refugees, an IT system isn’t anything that comes to mind. For those of us who work on the front-lines, we know that many other things take priority, like safe drinking water, shelter, and food. However, it’s incredibly apparent to me that adding a few simple platform solutions will allow us to exponentially improve the quality of healthcare and education for refugees.
Shortly before the launch of our second medical clinic in Lebanon, I met Brian de Francesca, Chief Executive Officer at Ver2 Digital Medicine. Brian is one of those smart, Johns Hopkins education experts who specializes in digitalization and connectivity to improve healthcare. He joined me and a small group of doctors on a trip to the Beqaa Valley to assess healthcare needs of refugees. The healthcare need in the camps was overwhelming. We called our small team, Real Sustainable Impact, and we began to dream of a way to bring more efficient and more effective services to refugees in remote areas. It was there the vision to connect 700 refugee camps world-wide was born.
This past year I’ve had the pleasure of working with a fantastic team who have dedicated their time and resources to help us build more sustainable services for refugees. Huge shout-out to Brian at Ver2 and the entire Iryo (https://iryo.io) team, a block chain startup centered around improving the state of technology in healthcare. According to Brian, “we are developing a ‘practical, robust and economical’ platform to support refugees in healthcare and education. It is much more than just another health record in the cloud, in that it will also be open source, zero knowledge and blockchain supported - a first, anywhere.”
With more than 700 camps and 65 million displaced globally, that’s no small task. Our first edition of the new platform will go live in April. What does this really mean? It means a refugee in a remote area who visits our clinic will have access to a vast network of professionals willing to help. Our clinic might staff a general practitioner, but with the Iryo and Ver2 partnerships, we can now link patients with specialized care in almost any area. This transforms on-the-ground care, while keeping costs low, and facilitating opportunities for medical professionals and education experts to help from anywhere in the world. It’s just another link in the chain of those committed to Real Sustainable Impact.