89. Saving Lives at Scale: Part One


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Greg Nokes, Master Technical Architect at Heroku, is joined by Meg McLaughlin, THINKMD's Director of Research and Implementation. THINKMD is a technology company that's working to build next-generation clinical logic. The primary aim is to put healthcare tools in the hands of anyone, anywhere, but especially in places where healthcare access is limited. The platform starts by guiding a user to provide some initial data about who they are. It then goes on to take the medical history of the person being assessed. By comparing a person's history, symptoms, and habits against the result of broader community data, THINKMD analyzes and visualizes that data to present information like the overall population and individual health.

Using a system called syndromic surveillance, THINKMD can look at incoming data to assess epidemics, such as malaria or COVID. By looking at trends of data over time, such as people's temperatures, syndromic surveillance can help identify potential cases and clusters, ultimately assisting health systems to manage where to allocate testing, equipment, or treatments. THINKMD is operating in over 13 countries--primarily in Africa and Southeast Asia--requiring the platform to target a variety of languages and cultures.

Tracking data is just one part of THINKMD's mission; the other portion is providing education and support for their on-site partners. Establishing campaigns to distribute vaccines and educating the populace on sanitary practices are just some of the challenges they face. They solve these problems by working closely to transfer knowledge to individuals who the community trusts.

Links from this episode

  • THINKMD's mission is to eliminate preventable deaths by increasing healthcare access via new and disruptive technologies

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