HEALTH CARE AT PRO MUJER: GOING DIGITAL TO BREAK BARRIERS

Pro Mujer is incorporating new technologies to provide preventive healthcare to women in Latin America

High quality, affordable, and gender-sensitive healthcare remains largely inaccessible to women in Latin America. Many often face the burden of unpaid childcare and work, making lack of time a critical barrier to prioritizing care for themselves. Some lack a nearby hospital or medical facility, others lack the financial resources to pay for transportation or do not have health insurance or savings to help cover the cost of prevention and treatment.

With COVID-19, many more urgent challenges have emerged: healthcare systems are under severe strain and more people are avoiding the doctor as a safety precaution in response to social distancing recommendations. Pro Mujer is responding to the current crisis by ramping up its efforts to deliver more health services digitally and to ensure women can access the care they need.

Here are few initiatives to showcase how Pro Mujer is expanding care for our patients:

Health Chatbot: To help its patients stay informed on COVID-19, Pro Mujer recently launched a free service that uses artificial intelligence to answer questions and help patients assess their potential exposure, symptoms and contagion risk.

Through WhatsApp, the chatbot provides information about COVID-19 and guidance on how users can take care of themselves and their families if they have symptoms. If needed, users can be connected and referred to health professionals who can provide guidance and answer any questions related to their health. Already 2,000 people have been assisted through the newly released chatbot.

Diabetes Calculator: Pro Mujer developed a digital tool using the Finnish Diabetes Risk Score that functions as a calculator to assess a user’s risk to develop diabetes. By providing information about their glucose level, age, weight, whether they suffer from hypertension or if any family relative has diabetes, the calculator provides recommendations and next steps for seeking care.

Obesity and overweight affect 60% of women in the region leaving them at high risk of developing diabetes. In fact, in Mexico, women are twice at risk to develop the disease compared to men.

Since the calculator’s launch, more than 6k people in Mexico have been able to access the tool. Our health team has been able to identify 1,900 people with higher risk and 327 with extremely higher risk of developing diabetes making them more vulnerable to COVID-19. In these cases, a health worker provides customized follow-up care and information about healthy practices including nutrition.

COVID-19 Radar App: As part of our efforts to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic, we launched a free mobile app to keep our employees safe across Latin America. The app provides a daily snapshot of the organizational risk for COVID-19 infection, helping Pro Mujer respond swiftly to protect workers and our beneficiaries.

LOOKING TOWARDS THE FUTURE:
While these initiatives are part of our response to the current crisis, they are nevertheless part of Pro Mujer’s strategic plan to become a large-scale platform where technology, customized care and a network of professionals can provide quality care and reach more women exponentially.

“We are building a long-term sustainable solution for vulnerable communities so they can access health care. This is the kind of service we want to bring across Latin America. We want to create a meaningful connection between patients and health care professionals. Combining technology and face to face care, we are making the difference” said Abelardo Vidaurreta, Senior Medical Officer at Pro Mujer.