Undergrad Trio Employs Tech to Bring Health Info to Migrants

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Two years ago, University of Virginia expertise members Laura Barnes and Rupa Valdez were collaborating on a National Institutes of Health-funded plan designed to assistance Latinas in a tillage farming village in Florida: an interactive, multimedia health preparation module delivered by practical humans on a inscription device. The professors enlisted 3 undergraduates to assistance with credentials investigate and information analysis.

This year, those same undergraduates are among a winners of a Voto Latino Innovators Challenge, a $500,000 tech foe that asks Latino millenials to “think of a approach tech can be used to make life improved for Latinos,” and afterwards provides winners with a funds, training and partners to make their thought a reality.

Fourth-year students Alexis Chaet, Andrew Mitchell and Bijan Morshedi submitted one of 7 winning concepts addressing a accumulation of needs in Latino communities around a country. Their entry, “Designing Culturally-Competent Health IT for a U.S. Latino Migrant Farmworker Population,” was desirous by a work they did with Barnes and Valdez.

Their vision? A multimedia height designed for low-literacy populations that delivers medical information and preparation to migrant workers. The height will embody of a personalized video library of health topics commissioned onto a inscription and commissioned in 5 migrant work camps in tillage Virginia subsequent year.

Chaet, a tellurian biology vital in a College of Arts Sciences, and Morshedi, a chemistry major, combine on calm and implementation. They interviewed plantation workers directly and found that over simple illness diagnosis and prevention, they need assistance training things like how to make an appointment, what questions to ask a alloy during an appointment and how to fill a prescription. They are in a routine of identifying videos with a required content, education turn and length to embody in a app. Each inscription will be connected to a internal village clinic, and a village health workman will be hired to yield support during any camp.

Mitchell, a mechanism scholarship vital in a Engineering School, handles a technical side of things. For a past year, he has been operative on an Android mobile health information apparatus for Spanish speakers that uses an “embodied conversational agent” to travel a user by a set of animations and questions. This is a basement for a practical tellurian that will eventually broach a information on a app.

One of a perks of being a Voto Latino Innovators Challenge leader is a outing to San Jose, California to revisit Google headquarters. Mitchell attended lectures on selling tech products, entrepreneurship and Google tools, and met other finalists and schooled about their projects.

Chaet and a group collaborated with several parties in offer to their plan advisers, Barnes, an partner highbrow of systems and information engineering, and Valdez, an partner highbrow of open health sciences.

“After building a skillset by [the NIH-funded plan in Florida], we wanted to work with a Latino village closer to home,” Chaet said. “We reached out to Blue Ridge Medical Center and grown a partnership with Vanessa Hale, who leads work with a plantation workman camps in Nelson County by a Latino Health Outreach Program. We practical for a investigate extend by a Center for Global Health and a Center for Undergraduate Excellence, and perceived appropriation to control an initial needs comment for plantation workman camps in a region.”

Chaet is confident about a long-range destiny of a platform. “In a arriving year, we wish to have grown a multimedia platform, commissioned a tablets in a camps, and be in a routine of conducting a rough evaluation,” she said. “We wish to adjust a height to improved accommodate a needs and concerns voiced by a community, offer tailoring both a calm and a technology.

“Someday, this plan competence offer as a indication for bridging gaps in health information entrance and communication barriers within limited-English-proficiency populations vital in removed communities.”

Mitchell added, “I feel intensely absolved to be concerned in this plan as a purpose not usually directly helps a migrant Latino community, it also illustrates a merging of health information with technology.”

Source: University of Virginia