SAN FRANCISCO & CHAPEL HILL, N.C.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Medic Mobile, a non-profit technology company that builds mobile and web tools that help health workers provide better care that reaches everyone, has partnered with miraclefeet, a non-profit working to eradicate clubfoot in the developing world.
Clubfoot affects one out of every 750 children, making it one of the most common birth defects around the world. In developing countries where treatment is not readily available, this disability often leads to a life of poverty, abuse, and shame. In India, close to 50,000 children are born with clubfoot every year, and many more continue to suffer stigma and economic deprivation due to poor access to treatment. Fortunately, it doesn’t have to be this way. With treatment, children born with clubfoot can live normal lives – running, playing and becoming productive members of their communities.
Miraclefeet supports 100 clinics in 13 countries, all of which use the widely accepted Ponseti method, a non-surgical treatment that involves a series of simple, properly applied plaster casts that are changed weekly. In 95 percent of cases, this results in full correction of the foot in four to six weeks of casting. Following casting, a brace is worn at night for several years to prevent relapse. In addition to medical treatment, miraclefeet supports the follow-up and education of families going through treatment, to ensure each child achieves and maintains full correction and will be able to walk and run like his peers.
The clubfoot clinic at Wadia Hospital in Mumbai currently treats over 300 children and the clinic’s counselor provides education and information to the families when they visit the clinic for weekly check-ups during the casting phase of treatment. However, as children transition into the bracing phase, clinic visits occur monthly and at-home compliance to the brace often drops, resulting in relapse of the condition. Miraclefeet saw a need to fix this. “It’s devastating to all of us – parents, doctors, counselors, and especially the child – to have the foot corrected, only to relapse due to non-compliance. We needed a way to stay more closely connected during the bracing phase in order to provide support, encouragement, and education – and that’s where Medic Mobile comes in.”
The Medic Mobile platform is bridging the communication gap that exists outside of the clinic between families and counselors during the treatment process. It reinforces counseling by sending parents scheduled text messages with relevant educational and motivational content relevant to their child’s phase of treatment, such as “It is important to keep the cast dry,”; “Always use the brace, even if your child cries,” and “Soon, your child will be able to walk normally!” The counselors play a crucial role in the clubfoot treatment process, and the Medic Mobile platform is enhancing their effectiveness. This SMS texting pilot follows a similar roll-out by miraclefeet in Nicaragua.
The educational messaging platform is now live at the Wadia Hospital Clubfoot Clinic, and families have started receiving the scheduled text messages. “We’re excited for the potential to scale the pilot going forward, and to witness its impact not only on treatment adherence, but also on strengthening the relationship between the families, counselors, and the clubfoot clinics,” said Josh Nesbit, Medic Mobile CEO and founder.
About Medic Mobile
Medic Mobile is a non-profit technology company supporting over 9,000 health workers across 20 countries in Africa, Asia, and Latin America. 95% of the world has access to a cell signal but still over a billion people will never see a doctor in their lifetime. Medic Mobile builds mobile and web tools to capitalize on this network of cell towers and health workers to bring health services to more people. Health workers use Medic Mobile to register every pregnancy, track disease outbreaks faster, keep stock of essential medicines, communicate about emergencies and more.
Clubfoot is a leading birth defect causing poverty and abuse in developing countries, though it’s virtually unrecognized in the U.S. due to high treatment rates. Miraclefeet is a non-profit dedicated to providing proper treatment for children born with clubfoot in developing countries. It partners with local orthopedic surgeons working in public hospitals to establish and support clubfoot clinics. This is the most effective, efficient and sustainable approach to prevent the significant disability caused by clubfoot. A child born with clubfoot in a developing county can be fully treated for about $250 per child, transforming his or her life forever. To learn more, please visit www.miraclefeet.org or sign up for our newsletter.