App to improve medical treatment of migrants en route

Collaboration between MSF and Fondazione IBM Italia

21 October, 19:08

    (ANSAmed) - ROME, OCTOBER 21 - Doctors Without Borders and the Fondazione IBM Italia have teamed up to produce a smartphone app that aims to better help migrants, refugees and asylum seekers that need medical treatment along their journey.

    "People on the Move" (POM), which can integrate IBM Watson Analytics, will support the work of MSF teams working in the Balkans, Sicily and on Mediterranean rescue vessels. Workers will be able to type in the medical data of patients into special tablet computers regardless of whether there is an internet connection or not. All the data collected anonymously will end up on a single database. MSF will thus be able to improve its medical and humanitarian response and strengthen its efforts to ensure that migrants will be given assistance and decent living conditions. ''Our teams along migration routes find themselves having to help numerous groups of people in constant movement and in changing and precarious contexts: makeshift refugee camps, mobile clinics, ports or even at sea,'' MSF medical chief Vittoria Gherardi said. ''This technology will help us to respond rapidly in diverse situations to the medical needs of our patients to help them as best as possible in the few moments during their journeys when someone is taking care of them.'' The app was sponsored by Fondazione IBM Italia as part of the Impact Grants program, a pro-bono initiative that aims to support NGOs by making advanced skills and technological instruments available. Designed on the basis of specific requests from doctors and MSF experts, the app was developed by IBM's Smart Solution Lab based in Rome, using IBM software and hosted in the SoftLayer Data Centre near Milan. After an initial test phase, the app is currently being used in three projects. (ANSAmed).

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