The Portable Doctor

The Portable Doctor

Organization type: 
nonprofit/ngo/citizen sector
$500,000 - $1 million
Project Summary
Elevator Pitch

Concise Summary: Help us pitch this solution! Provide an explanation within 3-4 short sentences.

Meeting the Need: Training of Healthcare Workers in Rural Communities
“Africa has over 65% of the world’s HIV burden, 25% of the world’s disease burden and 1.3% of the world’s healthcare workers.”

We believe that an approach to training healthcare workers, utilizing flash drives and low cost E book readers and newer technology for obtaining and distributing files such as E pub or similar propriety methods, could dramatically impact the availability of critical up to date information and improve the education and training of health care workers in rural communities.

About Project

Solution: What is the proposed solution? Please be specific!

E Readers 10 flash drives are rapidly becoming standard for as many healthcare information in the United States and Europe but not in resource poor countries where simple, efficient, and low cost solutions are needed to advance education and training of health care workers to address the acute worldwide shortage of trained health care workers. Paradoxically, the dramatic advances in the care and treatment of HIV, tuberculosis and other infectious diseases coupled with the greater availability of low-cost drugs to treat them in resource poor countries, has precipitate an unprecedented demand for trained health care workers to implement these advances and integrate care with public health measures. we have developed a library of healthcare information for the US and other developed countries for Internet use. We now want to transfer my library of information to resource poor countries and healthcare workers in areas where this information is difficult or impossible to access.
Impact: How does it Work

Example: Walk us through a specific example(s) of how this solution makes a difference; include its primary activities.

What is needed? 1. We already have the vast library of health care information from international sources on HIV, tuberculosis and malaria, and care of women and children. Unlike other web sites we edit it, cull out outdated or inaccurate information and write original material. and 2. Low cost master Flash Drives that have at least 3-5 GB of memory 3. We also need a simple E reader – not with a lot of programs that will cause problems, or parts that may need repair – just one that we could slip in a USB Flash Drive so the health care workers could select what they need for their training material. Would only need software such as Adobe Reader, Search, Print 4. We would need technical solutions to make the transfer of the libraries simple and to insure that the information could be displayed on any size screen. 5. Methods to prevent the potential transfer of virus and prevent other uses of the flash drives.
About You
Global Straegies for HIV Prevention
About You
First Name


Last Name


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About Your Organization
Organization Name

Global Straegies for HIV Prevention

Organization Phone

415 451 1814

Organization Address

828 San Pablo Ave Suite 260

Organization Country

, CA, Alameda County

Country where this project is creating social impact

, BI

How long has your organization been operating?

More than 5 years

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What stage is your project in?

Operating for less than a year

Tell us about the community that you engage? eg. economic conditions, political structures, norms and values, demographic trends, history, and experience with engagement efforts.

Many of the existing health-care workers are concentrated in urban areas where they receive higher salaries and have access to formal education and training. Health care workers in rural areas are paid little and have limited access to educational resources. Those who have Internet connections with reasonable bandwidths can access information over several websites (see below). The reality for most rural health care workers is that the internet is either unavailable or is so slow that it is only used for e mail. The majority of rural health care workers default to erratically updated and distributed printed material.

Share the story of the founder and what inspired the founder to start this project

The founder of this project is Arthur Ammann M.D. who formed the nonprofit organization Global Strategies for HIV Prevention 12 years ago. Within the first 10 years of the epidemic scientific advances in the field of HIV were dramatic and changed the lives of HIV infected individuals in the US and in other developed countries. As the HIV epidemic expanded, it was clear that the majority of patients resided in resource poor countries that had shortages of health care workers and drugs. Clinical research studies demonstrated that low-cost drugs could be lifesaving. International advocacy resulted in reductions in drug prices that made it possible to distribute drugs to many resource poor countries. However the increased availability of treatment with reduction in prices soon "ran ahead" of the availability of trained health care workers. Dr Ammann recognized the need for embarking on new and simpler ways to provide education and training to healthcare workers in rural settings where 80% of HIV infection resides. Global Strategies embarked on setting up models and defining solutions that could be used to solve many of the issues that impeded the training of much-needed healthcare workers in rural and other remote areas of Africa.

Social Impact
Please describe how your project has been successful and how that success is measured

The mission of Global Strategies for HIV Prevention is to save lives and alleviate the suffering of women and children in neglected conflict and post conflict regions by stopping the spread of HIV. Women and children in particular are vulnerable to HIV infection and its consequences. We measure our success by the number of workshops that we conduct, the number of healthcare workers trained, the number of women and children who receive counseling, testing, treatment and care and the quality of educational material which is distributed and increase and knowledge of healthcare workers.
• Our HIV prevention programs have reached over 70 hospitals and clinics saving providing preventive treatment to over 80,000 HIV-infected pregnant women
• Conducted over 30 workshops and conferences in 14 countries attended by more than 5500 healthcare workers
• Provided for 35,000 copies of education and training material.
• Provided support for over 1600 orphaned children to assist in health-care, nutrition and education
• Protection from HIV infection, unwanted pregnancy, and sexually transmitted infections for 2,000 rape victims

How many people have been impacted by your project?

More than 10,000

How many people could be impacted by your project in the next three years?

More than 10,000

Winning entries present a strong plan for how they will achieve growth. Identify your six-month milestone for growing your impact

A January workshop scheduled in Liberia for approximately 100 healthcare workers will provide the opportunity to test the flash drive our approach.

Task 1

Edit, cull out outdated or inaccurate information and write original material from our vast library of health care information .

Task 2

Identify key guidelines and educational material on critical health information that is not currently available and load the information on low cost master Flash Drives

Task 3

Work will begin on identifying a simple E reader with a USB connection to accommodate the information on the flash drive.

Identify your 12-month impact milestone

A prototype of an E reader providing critical healthcare information along with pre-and post-test questions to evaluate the success or difficulties in utilizing this approach.

Task 1

Identify the type of E reader that is required e.g. USB port, capacity, cost, ease-of-use.

Task 2

Convert educational material into E files which can be more easily accessed and read on E readers

Task 3

Provide E readers to key educators in the US and in developing countries to evaluate the content and ease-of-use.

How will your project evolve over the next three years?

The prototype would be evaluated under “real life” conditions in rural areas at workshops and clinics. We would add new material as it became available. An exchange program would be developed whereby the information on existing flash drives and E readers would be erased and replaced with new and updated information on an interval of 6 to 12 months. Protection against inappropriate use and against the introduction of viruses would be necessary. A focus on expansion of the availability of E readers would need to be coupled with training. If successful, additional funding would be needed for the project.

What barriers might hinder the success of your project and how do you plan to overcome them?

The barriers to success can be placed into four categories – information, technical, distribution and security. The success of the project is dependent on maintaining up-to-date relevant information and requires healthcare workers in developed countries to screen and gather the needed information into a central library. Currently this library is available and is funded by the University of California San Francisco. Decreased funding might jeopardize this availability. Technical aspect relates to the speed at which new technical solutions can be transposed to resource poor countries and made available in a timely manner. Cost and usability are complicating factors. The success of the program will be dependent on the ability to distribute jump drives and E readers to rural and remote areas. This will require training of key healthcare workers. Security relates to issues of fact and introduction of viruses into Internet or E files and transmission of these viruses to other E readers. We are fully aware of these issues and believe they can be resolved if we encounter them as obstacles and have initiated discussion with key players.

Tell us about your partnerships

Our national partners are the Center for HIV Information at the University of California San Francisco medical Center, additional foundations engaged in HIV aids that provide financial support, the Rotary, faith-based organizations and a four-year grant from Google to support our programs in the Democratic Republic of Congo and Liberia as well as development of supporting structure.
Internationally we partner with HEAL Africa, an NGO in Goma,DRC, the Clinton foundation, St. Joseph's Hospital in Monrovia, Liberia, Save the Children.

Explain your selections

we seek a variety of funds to support our programs. Approximately 30% of our funding is received from individuals, 30% from other foundations and 30% from faith-based organizations. We have not and do not currently receive funding from governments.

How do you plan to strengthen your project in the next three years?

During the 12 years of operation of Global Strategies for HIV prevention we have developed partnerships to strengthen our approach to delivering HIV prevention and care to rural, unstable, and recently stable regions of the world. We will continue to seek those partnerships through advocacy, grant application and communication. Our recent linkages with groups that are engaged in developing new educational approaches utilizing existing and evolving technology provide us with insight into how to best move forward with utilizing these innovative approaches in resource poor settings. The program must be thoroughly evaluated and tested to provide convincing evidence that this approach can successfully be used to increase the cadre of trained health care workers. Accordingly we will need to increase our interaction with educators who are currently testing out the use of electronic media for education at undergraduate and graduate levels.

Which barriers to health and well-being does your innovation address?
Please select up to three in order of relevancy to your project.


Limited human capital (trained physicians, nurses, etc.)


Lack of access to targeted health information and education


Lack of affordable care

Please describe how your innovation specifically tackles the barriers listed above.

Our approach of utilizing jump drives and E readers goes to the heart of the issue of efficiently and inexpensively training healthcare workers to reverse the paucity of healthcare workers in resource poor countries.Although the primary barrier which was provided as a choice list train physicians and nurses in reality what is needed are trained mid-level healthcare workers and we directly address this need. The trained healthcare workers who need to remain in the areas where they are currently working. Many areas currently do not have access to high-speed Internet or even Internet and they cannot be excluded from advancing much-needed healthcare information that is required to improve the healthcare the communities.

How are you growing the impact of your organization or initiative?
Please select up to three potential pathways in order of relevancy to you.


Grown geographic reach: Multi-country


Influenced other organizations and institutions through the spread of best practices


Grown geographic reach: Global

Please describe which of your growth activities are current or planned for the immediate future.

Testing and evaluation of our approach must initially be accomplished in selected resource poor countries to which we currently have access and where we know the training needs. Following initial evaluation the educational material provided by E readers can be improved and we will seek additional partners for distribution to other healthcare centers in other countries. Global reach would be dependent on large international organizations realizing the importance of utilizing this approach for education and training.

Do you collaborate with any of the following: (Check all that apply)

Technology providers, NGOs/Nonprofits, Academia/universities.

If yes, how have these collaborations helped your innovation to succeed?

The proposed approach is dependent on the applicability of technology to adaptation for education and training in resource poor countries. In preliminary discussions we do not see any obstacles other than cost which is undergoing reduction as competition increases. Our collaboration with NGOs has not encountered any obstacles Depending on the region, the degree of training needed will vary. The Academy provides much of the educational and training material in a format that can be readily adapted to resource poor countries. The level at which the education and training material is directed is somewhat problematic and for this reason we employ individuals who can rewrite the material.