Tell us about the community that you engage? eg. economic conditions, political structures, norms and values, demographic trends, history, and experience with engagement efforts.
Our project engages directly with doctors operating in developing countries and indirectly with their patients The patients are typically low-income rural women who have difficulty accessing any other hospital. The doctors we target are either trained in or interested in learning endoscopic surgery, but have no access to equipment in their hospitals. The main groups on which we are initially focused are traveling doctor organizations (Doctors Without Borders, Medicine for Humanity), made up of trained doctors who travel from developed countries to operate on underserved populations on temporary missions. These doctors are a perfect fit, since they often already have practice in and understanding of endoscopy and their only barrier is the price and bulkiness of the equipment. We have already conducted a trial with Medicine for Humanity in Mbarara. Uganda, and were able to help three fistula patients who would otherwise have been turned away. EVOTECH’s founder has been getting feedback from traveling doctor groups as to the Evocam’s features for the past year. In the longer term, as the device is perfected, we will engage medical schools and hospitals.
Share the story of the founder and what inspired the founder to start this project
Moshe has been a tinkerer since birth. His interest in medicine and engineering peaked in university and he began his quest to develop extremely affordable medical devices utilizing techniques in frugal innovation. The idea for EVOTECH was born in a conversation on the steps of Kilimanjaro. Moshe and his co-founder were brainstorming ways to bring minimally invasive surgical devices to the Bottom of the Pyramid. They knew that the cost of the imaging system was the major barrier, and thought of combining inexpensive laptops (of the One Laptop Per Child variety) with the low cost imaging sensors they knew were available off-the shelf. This led to the idea of the EVOCAM. Moshe Excitedly contacted Dr. Tarnay, a prestigious and dedicated volunteer physician from UCLA medical center. Dr. Tarnay expressed great interest in the EVOCAM and its telemedical capabilities. The EVOCAM offered a technology he never knew was available for his organization's medical trips to Uganda. The EVOCAM enabled Dr. Tarnay and his fellow volunteer physicians to perform MIS surgery and treat patients that they would otherwise have had to turn away.