Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Sana Group Recognized

The Vodafone Americas Foundation and the mHealth Alliance awarded Sana (formerly called Moca) the mHealth Alliance Award valued at $50,000 and Sana finished third in the Wireless Innovation Prize valued at $100,000 at the Global Philanthropy Forum. These awards recognized Sana’s new application for wireless technology and their potential to address health challenges in low resource settings.

Sana, a multidisciplinary group of MIT and Harvard students and a spinoff from the MIT Nextlab program has been working very hard to revolutionize healthcare delivery in rural and underserved areas, both nationally and internationally.

The group developed an innovative open source platform that allows mobile phones to capture and send data to an electronic medical record (OpenMRS) that links community health workers with physicians for real-time decision support.

Sana intends to use the seed funding and management support of the Santa Clara University’s Center for Science Technology, and the Global Social Benefit Incubator Program (GSBI). Placement in the GSBI secured via the mHealth Alliance Award will help provide access to Silicon Valley and help support the goal to achieve maximum sustainability and impact.

Sana is developing the “mHealth Lab,” a course to be taught at MIT and disseminated by distance learning to partner institutions worldwide. The aim is to build a template on how to develop and deploy mHealth projects based on best practices. The plan is to help identify health needs, create solutions, and overcome any contextual factors that can limit the impact of health information technology.

Sana is also involved in other activities. Their work will be featured in a Smithsonian exhibit called “Why Design Now?” to open in May at the Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum in New York City which will examine design thinking to use as an essential tool for solving some of today’s most urgent problems.

In addition, Sana will receive the Massachusetts Medical Society Information Technology award in May for developing information tools that help physicians practice medicine, teach medicine, or pursue clinical research.

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