All CDDRL Multimedia

FrontlineSMS:Medic - Democratizing mHealth for the Developing World on Their Terms Not Ours

  • Lucky Gunasekara ,
  • Tom Wiltzius

FrontlineSMS:Medic is a Palo Alto based tech nonprofit startup that began in early 2009 with several Stanford undergraduates and graduate students at the helm. The concept behind the group's software suite is simple: free intuitive mobile phone and computer applications built upon free and open source packages, such as OpenMRS and FrontlineSMS, to allow clinics and hospitals in the developing world to use mobile phones for healthcare services in resource poor settings. Their work has already broken rapidly out of their first pilot site in Malawi and now 2.2 million patients are being covered by their software in Uganda, Tanzania, Cameroon, Kenya, Burundi, Guatemala, Honduras, India and Bangladesh. Their service partners include Partners in Health, Clinton HIV/AIDS Initiative, and Village Health Works.

Lucky Gunasekara is currently a student in Stanford University's School of Medicine studying applications of information technology in global health. He graduated from Cornell University in 2006, with Distinction in All Subjects, holding a B.A. in Neurobiology and Behavior, and a minor in East Asian Studies. From 2006 to 2008, he lived in Japan, studying public health and foreign aid as a Fulbright Scholar and working in corporate Japan. He currently serves as the Managing Director of FrontlineSMS:Medic, which he co-founded with partners, Josh Nesbit, Isaac Holeman, and Nadim Mahmud in 2009.

Tom Wiltzius is a undergraduate in Stanford's Computer Science program studying systems. Tom's interest in ICT for development began with work in wireless mesh networking as a means of rapidly and cheaply deploying data infrastructure in unwired areas.  Projects with the Urbana-Champaign Wireless Network, South Africa's Meraka Institute, and the Stanford Information Networks Group all contributed to an understanding of mesh networking centered around applications for the developing world. Tom is currently working on a cost-sensitive, intuitive data collection tool designed for community healthcare workers in semi-connected rural environments as his senior thesis in conjunction with the FrontlineSMS:Medic project.