Health4TheWorld, an award-winning nonprofit organization leveraging technology to address global health problems, recently announced the launch of Health4TheWorld Academy – a free, education platform for health professionals in low-resource settings worldwide.
The organization, founded by Dr. Bhavya Rehani, professor in neuroradiology at U.C. San Francisco, and Dr. Ankur Bharija of the Stanford School of Medicine, was inspired by Bharija when he grew up in India and visited remote villages with his physician father.
It was there where Bharija developed a keen interest in medicine early on.
“After attending multiple medical camps in villages during medical school, he realized quickly that improving health in resource-poor settings didn’t just happen by bringing the doctor there,” Bharija told India-West. “The majority of existing solutions focused on immediate needs – such as disaster recovery, and did not necessarily empower local communities to take their health into their own hands.”
The Indian American physician realized his dream of providing education and training for healthcare professionals worldwide by leveraging his ties with premier medical schools and researchers in the U.S.
Health4theworld.org/academy provides open free 24/7 access to state-of-the-art medical data from leading specialists.
The H4TW Academy offers 100-plus courses in multiple specialties by distinguished faculty from renowned academic institutions. It gives health professionals access to a performance monitoring dashboard, certificates, virtual reality anatomy modules, machine learning chatbots and forums for discussion with a global community.
Bharija ultimately wants to put patients back in control of their health – whether they are suffering from preventative conditions or serious ailments, such as heart disease and cancer.
He has been instrumental in developing H4TW’s lifesaving stroke application, featuring real-time alerts, as well as the H4TW Education Platform “Health4TheWorld Academy” – poised to become the largest free online education platform for healthcare professionals worldwide, according to the organization.
Since the Health4theWorld Academy launched last month, it has been distributed to three sites in Africa and Nepal. It’s been adopted by more than 50 healthcare professionals — doctors, nurses, therapists, and community healthcare workers — and growing every day, it said.
Since Jan. 1, 2017, H4TW has touched more than 3,500 lives in remote communities across 22 countries, it said.
And last year, Health4theworld was awarded the 2018 Tech Start Up of the Year Silver Stevie Award for use of innovative technology to bring health to remote communities.
“Doctors, nurses and other health care professionals in remote, under-resourced regions of the world lack ready access to up-to-date medical information to provide evidence-based care and save lives of their patients,” explained Rehani, the organization’s chief executive. “There is a need for a reliable, free, open access resource for health professionals.”
Health4theWorld has raised over $20,000 in public funding this year – and aims to grow its budget to $40,000 in 2019 with 100 percent of the funds to be used to develop and promote the company’s platform free of charge to communities in need. Its board and advisory members continue to fund operational costs out of pocket.
As for the organization’s goal, it all boils down to educational content, accessibility and engaging. Specific to content, it is creating a repository of life-saving, reliable educational content tailored towards needs of health providers on the ground in resource-poor settings, Bharija said.
Bharija added that regarding accessibility, the goal is to make content easily accessible online, free of cost – to anyone, anywhere. The platform’s data will be refined via real-time feedback and learnings from users on the ground – enriching its accessibility and clinical impact, he said.
And it will engage by utilizing emerging technologies such as virtual reality and machine learning: Health4theWorld aims to engage learners at all levels in a scalable, user-friendly format, the co-founder said.
“Health4theWorld ventures out of conventional learning models to inspire healthcare professionals and community health advocates to improve the wellbeing of their patients,” Bharija noted.
The organization, according to Bharija, plans to expand to 100-plus communities in over 25 countries in 2019.
“Communities who have been traditionally cut off from clinical-grade education and resources will be a top priority,” Bharija, who oversees the clinical content on all Health4theWorld platforms, said.
Over last two years, Health4theWorld has trained more than 1,000 health professionals and hosted in excess of 100 workshops in 20 plus countries, in addition to launching the Health4theWorld Academy.