Rachana and I recently had the opportunity to visit Nairobi as guests of the Blood:Water Partner Summit to introduce Health eVillages and Omnio’s clinical support tool application. In an effort to engage the group with an understanding of the impact that Health eVillages could have in assisting healthcare providers save lives, I started to share some of the amazing stats from the Lwala Community Alliance (LCA)—including the fact that they significantly reduced infant mortality in just a matter of a few years—moving from a 26% success rate in 2011 to 96% in 2014.

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As I was raving about the incredible work that LCA was doing, I noticed some great smiles in the audience. Only then did I realize that some of the unsung heroes of LCA were in the audience, including Dr. Wycliffe Omwanda, head clinician at LCA and a huge advocate of Health eVillages. There’s nothing more powerful than hearing from a professional who can speak firsthand about the difference a clinical tool has made in their lives and the lives of their patients, and Wycliffe told the Health eVillages story far better than I could ever hope to. Wycliffe shared with the group how he has incorporated Health eVillages and Omnio into his workflow, with amazing results. And here are just a few more powerful examples of his use of Health eVillages and Omnio:

  • Early identification and treatment of recent cholera outbreak:
    • Using the diagnostic information in Omnio, Wycliffe quickly diagnosed some of the very first patients in what ultimately became a cholera outbreak in East Africa. Once he identified the diagnosis, Wycliffe used the reference material and medical calculator to determine the appropriate amounts of IV fluids to provide to his patients. As a result of this early diagnosis and treatment plan, many patients who may not otherwise have survived were treated and discharged.
    • Lwala was one of the first facilities in the county to report suspected cases of cholera and alerted healthcare professionals throughout the area to the symptoms and treatment necessary to save lives.
  • Identification and treatment of organophosphate poisoning:
    • Wycliffe was presented with a 7 year old girl with an unclear history who was in a semi-conscious state. Using his medical expertise aided by Omnio content, he was able to diagnose the poisoning and treat accordingly, clearly saving this young girl’s life.
  • Physician AND patient education:
    • Wycliffe not only uses Omnio and the Health eVillages app for his information, he uses it to educate his patients as well, strengthening the doctor/patient relationship. In fact, Wycliffe believes in the app so strongly that he doesn’t go anywhere without his tablet in hand. Literally. He took it to dinner with him.

The last day of the summit we conducted small group training for those who would be participating in our pilot, and although it went well, I knew Rachana and I couldn’t compete with what Wycliffe had already shared. Where we could tell the team the what and the how, Wycliffe could tell them—in fact he could show them—the why—and that’s an incredibly powerful thing.

In a situation where I thought Rachana and I were going to teach a few people some cool things about our solutions, we came away with a greater lesson than we could ever have hoped for.  Thanks Wycliffe, for your healing hands, your inquisitive mind, and your willingness to spread the word.

Do apps save lives? In the healing hands of those who care, yes, they do.

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