Stage 3: Proof of Concept
MediCapt was developed using a process called collaborative design or “co-design,” in which we field tested the app and incorporated our partners’ feedback early in the development process to ensure that MediCapt truly responds to their needs. We began piloting the app with patients in Kenya in late 2018.
We are actively cultivating new partnerships among (i) tech developers to support ongoing design, development, and maintenance of the app; (ii) government officials to support local implementation and investment of the app in-country; (iii) development agencies and private sector entities to support investment in and expansion of the app to new locations; and (iv) international organizations to support and validate the tool as a model of best practice globally.
Health and Gender-based Violence
Health and Gender-based ViolenceSEE LESS
Kenya and Congo, Democratic Republic of the
Kenya and Congo, Democratic Republic of theSEE LESS
Countries Implemented In
Every year, tens of thousands of adults and children are sexually violated in conflict zones around the world. Most survivors don’t report these crimes, but for those who do, often their cases fail due to poor evidence: forensic exams are rarely conducted, medical charts are incomplete, and clinicians, law enforcement officers, lawyers, and judges don't communicate with or understand each other.
Physicians for Human Rights (PHR) developed MediCapt, an award-winning mobile app to overcome these challenges. This critical tool converts a standardized medical intake form for forensic documentation to a digital platform and combines it with a secure mobile camera to facilitate forensic photography. Health care providers can use MediCapt to compile forensic medical evidence, photograph survivors’ injuries, and securely transmit the data to police, lawyers, and judges involved in pursuing cases of sexual violence.
We have trained 30 clinicians in DRC & Kenya to collect forensic evidence of sexual violence on the app. These clinicians examine and care for approximately 4,650 survivors/year. We expect to reach double that amount upon our expansion to new clinics. During this time, we hope MediCapt will be adopted by national health care services and provide a model for digital evidence collection in these pilot countries. When MediCapt expands to new countries, it can potentially impact millions.
Among its many essential features, MediCapt includes sophisticated encryption, cloud data storage, high fidelity to chain of custody standards, and tamper-proof metadata. The app has the potential to demonstrate patterns or prevalence of violence, including the widespread or systematic nature of offenses critical to demonstrating crimes against humanity. MediCapt also has the potential to facilitate early warning of and rapid response to mass crimes. Significantly, the app is designed to securely collect data in conflict zones, as well as remote locations where wireless data transmission is limited. The tool can also accommodate the various languages of its end users.
The collaborative process is at the core of MediCapt; end users have been engaged in the design and development process from the outset providing important feedback and recommendations on the usability and feasibility of the app. At the end of the first pilot in Kenya, 100% of clinicians surveyed agreed that MediCapt helps them do a better job of documenting sexual assault examinations. PHR continues to learn and improve the tool, notably through an upcoming evaluation funded by the World Bank Group and the Sexual Violence Research Initiative to compare the documentation on MediCapt and paper-based forms.
To our knowledge, no mobile health platforms have been developed specifically for use among frontline health providers to forensically and clinically document human rights violations, including sexual violence. MediCapt is creating a new platform at the intersection of the digital health field of data collection and legal documentation of evidence. MediCapt will strengthen the evidence gathered in a single case and it has the potential to aggregate de-identified data to establish key epidemiological trends and patterns of criminal activity.
MediCapt has received awards from the USAID/Humanity United Tech Challenge for Atrocity Prevention, MIT Solve Challenge, and the World Bank Group and Sexual Violence Research Initiative’s Development Marketplace for Innovation in the Prevention and Response to Gender Based Violence.