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Summo


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DESIGN THINKING HEALTH CARE PROJECT IN RURAL SOUTH AFRICA
SCHOOL OF DESIGN THINKING, 2013

How might we improve the working conditions of nurses working in rural areas of South Africa, in an easy to implement and low cost way?

Medical care in rural areas in the Western Cape Region in South Africa, especially the treatment of farm workers, is provided by the „Mobile Clinics“. The Mobile Clinics are equipped vans, each manned by two nurses that drive from farm to farm taking care of their patients. It is a tough job, particularly since the routes are very long, the farms extensive and time is always too short.

We observed, interviewed, held co-creation workshops, brainstormed, interated, discarted a lot of ideas and at last came up with the idea of SUMMO.

Since the nurses cannot predict their number of patients and since the road conditions are bad, they can‘t say far in advance at what time they will arrive at the next stop. Therefore they often lose large amounts of time searching or waiting for their patients.

Time delays lead to more work for the mobile clinics. Delays also mean less money for the patients, since they have to leave their work for the treatment. If the nurses don’t come, patients waste unpaid working time at the meeting point.

Summo is an SMS-based service for mobile clinics which enables nurses to summon their patients at a central point at the farm in a widespread rural area. Summo helps the nurses to save time on their routes and therefore makes the rural health care providers more efficient.

Project with Birga Schlottmann, Christian Hausner, Dea Dantas Vögler, Mauro Rego and Nele Hiller.

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