I really enjoyed the readings this week for the thread that seemed to tie them together - empowerment of remote and disadvantaged populations in crisis through technological solutions. Uber's initiatives/goals regarding 1 million women employed is impressive, and shows that in addition to the environmental impact they can make with their POOL product catching on they can also seek out moral initiatives as their business grows rapidly.
Community Case Management as described in the handbook is a very compelling example of harnessing the power of ubiquitous mobile phones to transmit realtime health data and empower the respected members of a population to take on the critical roll of pseudo-nurse/clinician, and it was encouraging to read about some of the corporate partnerships in this area at least in regards to the conference. I wonder about how to best incentivize the members of the community to take on this additional responsibility? What are the reasons that someone who already has a job would agree to become a community health worker? Does the potential of misdiagnosing a neighbor's infantile pneumonia too discouraging?
Drone delivery of healthcare to remote areas is an amazing thing that seems close at hand, and I'd love to learn more about how these missions are piloted. I assume we will get lots more info at next week's panel. And aerial info recon and image interpretation after a disaster is a really interesting way to gather other types of intel about a place in crisis. When does trust in a new system break down ? How many broken drones or misdelivered health services does it take for remote, rural populations to grow too skeptical for effective implementation to scale up?
But perhaps a larger question is this - what are the ethical problems we must explore in regards to drone imagery, when a byproduct of the humanitarian sector getting involved with this technology presupposes our acceptance of the 1st world surveilling the 3rd world? Would efforts like this leave open the door for government or commercial data farming interests to sneak in behind, under the guise of better understanding populations and customers?
Also loved the TED talk from Hans Rosling, which provided a necessary history to my growing understanding of global health and economic development in sub saharan Africa vs Asia over the last 40+ years.
Here are a couple very interesting pieces I liked on the California company Zipline and their medical supply drone delivery business.