November 24, 2015 | Tech Nonprofits

Medic Mobile: The Gateway to Door-to-Door Community Health

This is the fourth post in a series highlighting the alumni of the 2014 Fast Forward accelerator.

After witnessing patients walk more than 100 miles to a hospital in rural Malawi to receive care, and experiencing stronger cell phone reception there than in California, Josh Nesbit started Medic Mobile. Now, five years after its inception, Medic Mobile is an SMS, mobile, and web platform that thousands of health workers use to better and more efficiently serve rural communities across the world. Fast Forward reconnected with Josh to expand on Medic Mobile’s most recent goals and successes. We’ve summarized the key points below.

Significant factors influencing growth

Medic Mobile’s partners are finding it so useful, they’re integrating it as a central piece of their own expansion plans. In many cases a partnership goes well beyond initial expectations. For example, what the organization thought would be a single software program partnership specific to Malawi is now being replicated by this partner in more African countries.

Impact metrics

Medic Mobile is on track to train, equip, and deploy to an additional 5,200 community health workers by the end of this year, putting this tool in the hands of 12,000 community health workers total, which represents 65% growth in a year. The organization seeks to lock-on to this growth rate target, and strive to sustain scaling at this magnitude.

Recently, Medic Mobile launched a new mobile app including Android capability. This platform will put Medic Mobile in the hands of 8,000 additional health workers in 2016. New donors and continued supporters giving more have unlocked $700,000 in additional funding this year for the organization.

Why Fast Forward made a difference

Fast Forward allowed us to meet amazing people. After meeting with mentors, team members widely shared notes and action items with the rest of the team, and Medic Mobile immediately incorporated mentors’ advice into their work. Many of these mentor relationships have persisted beyond Fast Forward. In particular, a partnership with Brad Presner from Living Goods has opened so many doors for collaboration. Advice is easy to get, but the tailored, high-caliber mentoring sessions during Fast Forward are the start of journeys.

Goals for 2016

  1. The organization will develop a whole new set of impact monitoring tools. This involves moving beyond getting software into health systems and into predictive/real-time impact monitoring.
  2. Another goal is to strengthen support of community health workers as front line workers. The Medic Mobile app should help community health workers increase efficiency and provide valuable medical decision support. Door-to-door community health will become more popular and more useful.
  3. Nobody has ever deployed DIY software the way Medic Mobile has in the global health space. All a partner organization needs to unroll their own Medic Mobile-enabled DIY program is cell service and basic phones. Adopting new organizations as DIYers on the platform in the next year will be a goal and growth objective for 2016.

To learn more about Medic Mobile, check out their most recent Annual Report.