Enter a few dozen passionate, hard-working, and motivated Duke undergraduate and graduate students. Students who, in addition to the weight of their daily commitments as students, RAs, employees, and volunteers, have offered their time to generating innovative models of delivering telemedicine in Kenya. Enter the SEAD Case Competition.
In 2015, SEAD innovator Afya Research Africa (ARA) was thrilled to be selected to present their telemedicine challenge to Duke students through the SEAD Case Competition. During the March 20th SEAD Symposium, Samson Gwer and Moses Ndiritu of ARA challenged the participating students to identify ways in which ARA could expand access to specialists through county hospital telemedicine pods – and to consider meeting needs for training, infrastructure, and revenue generation, as well as a system to monitor and evaluate the implementation. The students, working in interdisciplinary teams, spent the next five days developing their ideas. On the evening of March 25th, four of those teams had the opportunity to present their solutions to Sam, Moses, and each other.
One team, comprised of graduate students from DGHI, Sanford, and Pratt, proposed a bundled payment system to provide incentives to providers as well as protection for patients, in addition to a partnership with pharma based on existing successful models. Another team, comprised of all undergraduate students from a variety of majors, proposed the use of medical specialist trainees to deliver the specialty care, thereby reducing costs and ingraining the use of telemedicine in the next generation of medical professionals in Kenya. This team also incorporated other incentive and payment schemes currently in practice in other parts of East Africa, including P4P (payment for performance). Another team addressed the challenges and expenses of training clinicians on use of the telemedicine platform by creating a digital training program that is easily scalable; this team also recommended partnership with the government to incorporate telemedicine as part of their health care strategy. The last team presented in-depth research on the factors that have helped or hindered the implementation of telemedicine in other countries, and proposed a model based on a tiered system of pricing and services.
Sam and Moses were thoroughly impressed with all of the presentations, and shared that each of them offered a number of promising options that could be incorporated into their plan to introduce and scale telemedicine around Kenya. They had already shared some of the ideas with their partners from CISCO and Organge Telecom in Nairobi, and had created a lot of buzz and excitement. At the end of the evening, Sam and Moses announced the winning team – which was the team that really “shook them to think differently” about telemedicine: the “SEAD Bass Connections” team composed of DGHI MSc student Kayla Stankevitz, undergrad Neuroscience & Global Health major Karishma Popli, and graduate Pharmacology & Cancer Biology student Jun Wang.
Congratulations to all who participated and generated excellent ideas, particularly the teams that presented last night: Steven Soto, Kailani Montane, Michaela Walker, Betty Tushabe, Barbara Neto, Starling Shan, Adi Pradana, Natalie Skeiky, Sulzhan Bali, Naman Pandey, Hailey Diaz, Tesha Florence, Veerain Gupta, Jaclyn Karasik, Shalini Subbarao, Kayla Stankevitz, Karishma Popli, and Jun Wang