SANA: Open Source Telemedicine
Country of Operation
- Harvard School of Public Health, MITNot-for-profit
SummarySana's mission is to revolutionize healthcare delivery in remote areas through innovative mobile information services that improve patient access to medical specialists for faster, high-quality, and more cost-effective diagnosis and intervention.
A wide rural-urban divide exists for health care delivery in developing nations. Medical specialists in these countries are scarce and usually concentrated in cities. Consequently, the diagnosis and treatment are often delayed, resulting in worse outcomes and more costly care. Based on the work and contributions of students, volunteers, partner organizations, and sponsors, Sana offers an open source data collection and collaboration platforms for clinical research and best practice health care delivery for underserved rural populations.
Key program components
Sana, is a student organization based at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (NextLab, Center for Transportation and Logistics, Engineering Systems Division) that offers an end-to-end system that seamlessly connects health workers to medical professionals. In addition, the group assists its partner organization with implementation through collaborative innovation.
The team consists of volunteers with diverse backgrounds from medicine to business and operations management. It strongly believes that there is a need to bring together experts from various disciplines in order to design an operating system around the delivery of care that is facilitated by mobile technology. The technology is crucial, but not the sole component of the solution. It is the centerpiece of a learning system that is designed not only to improve clinical outcomes, but the health delivery process itself. Sana is a reliable tool that allows health workers to transmit any medical file, whether text notes or even information rich x-rays, through a cell phone to both:
A central server for archiving and incorporation into an electronic medical record
Remote specialists for real-time decision support
Using the Sana application, health workers run a procedure and collect patient data on the phone. Sana then uploads the information to OpenMRS for doctor review. After reviewing the case, doctors notify health workers by sending diagnosis and treatment recommendations to the Sana application. Clinicians have the ability to build unique procedures for health care workers and organizations.
When strong cellular connectivity is not available, Sana solves the problem using packetization, synchronization and multi-modal transfer. Sana integrates with OpenMRS, an open-source electronic medical records system used in developing countries to facilitate longitudinal care and patient tracking.
The platform enables collaborative quality assessment among partner organizations, which will be crucial in setting the standards for telemedicine technology and medical care in resource-poor settings.