Moca Lab — an open-source, cell-phone based telemedicine system that extends specialized medical care to resource-poor and conflict areas in the Philippines — has been awarded the 2010 Davis Projects for Peace Fellowship.
Moca Lab team member Chris Moses ’10, a senior in the Department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences, said his team will use the $10,000 award to extend their mobile system of health care delivery to conflict-ridden zones in Mindanao, a large island in the Philippines where religious extremists and military violence severely limit local citizens' access to adequate health care.
This summer, Moses will travel to Manila to develop a curriculum and workshops to educate Filipino health workers about the Moca telemedicine program and connect them to other health professionals, university faculty and students in the country. Thanks to the Davis Projects for Peace Fellowship, health workers from Mindanao will attend the workshops and be incorporated into the network of Filipino mobile health providers, thus enabling them to bring state-of-the-art healthcare to this conflict zone.
Moses traveled to the Philippines as a Public Service Fellow over IAP 2010 to implement their mobile health-care system for the rural island of Batanes. He successfully passed ownership of the Moca project to a group of universities in Manila to carry on the project.
“The Davis award is a chance for me to continue my research on how mobile health technologies can influence quality of life for people living in resource-poor regions. It will be rewarding to extend care to conflict areas in Mindanao, and it also represents an effort to test how improved health might affect other facets of life, like relationship-building and peace efforts across geographic and even religious boundaries,” Moses said.
Davis Projects for Peace is made possible by Kathryn Davis, who launched the project in 2007 on her 100th birthday. The program is designed to encourage and support college students as they develop and test their own ideas for building peace.
Each of the 100 selected projects receives $10,000 in funding. This year, 11 student proposals were submitted to an MIT selection committee.