Peter Durand

Thinking About Global HealthTech

In Health, Innovation, Journal, Sustainability on March 9, 2009 at 3:01 pm
Modern Pharmacy in Liberia

Modern Pharmacy in Liberia. Photo by Erik Hersman

Thinking about the people I’ve run across (mostly thanks to Pop!Tech) who are applying design and technology to global health. Wondering how to be part of the solution.

“All experts agreee that earlier diagnosis and treatment are the only effective ways to combat this [AIDS] epidemic. A key to this is how do you deliver information – which is what a diagnosis is – at the lowest possible cost.” – George Whitesides, Founder Diagnostics for All


This is an open source project in Africa. It is a simple website mashup, using user-generated reports and Google Maps, created to gather citizen generated crisis information after the post-election violence in Kenya and has been deployed to South Africa, The Congo, Liberia and used to track the War on Gaza.

The creator is Erik Hersman who is married to a graduate of Vanderbilt’s SoN. His experience in deploying technology to the developing world and working with technologists in those countries would be invaluable.




Cameroon form a Technologist’s POV


End of Poverty by Paul Polak

Design for the other 90% of the world. Paul is an social entrepreneur, engineer and psychologist who creates for-profit businesses that move people out of poverty. His book has great guidelines for how to conduct ethnographic interviews of users before designing solutions.



Information and Communication Technologies for Development  is geographically unspecific, and as such concerns itself directly with overcoming the barriers of the digital divide. ICT4D is geographically unspecific, and as such concerns itself directly with overcoming the barriers of the digital divide. It is becoming recognised as an interdisciplinary research field as can be noted by the number of conferences, workshops and publications in the field.


Project Masiluleke

This project harnesses the power of mobile devices to help reverse South Africa’s crippling HIV/AIDS and TB crises. Partners from frog design, iTeach and the Praekelt Foundation discuss the program’s breakthrough approach, which endeavors to connect millions to testing and care. This video shows the entire design process of the health challenge (min 7:00), mobile technology (min 21:00), and the human-centered design process (min 30:00).


Fast Company: How Innovations from Developing Nations Trickle-Up to the West

A funny thing has happened on the way to globalization: Innovation now trickles up from emerging to advanced economies. And it may be the way of the future. Nokia, for one, has for several years seen most of its growth come from the developing world, so it was quick to notice when poor Kenyans started using their cell phones for banking as well as paying for things.



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