Sexual Violence | MediCapt

PHR’s mobile app MediCapt puts cutting edge technology in the service of preventing sexual violence.

The UN estimates that one in three women around the world will suffer sexual violence during their lifetime. Particularly in conflict-affected areas, the vast majority of survivors’ cases never get to court; and those that do often fail due to lack of evidence.  

To support the reliable and secure documentation of forensic evidence needed to support sexual violence cases, PHR designed and developed MediCapt, an award-winning mobile application to document forensic evidence of sexual violence.  

MediCapt provides a digital platform to facilitate the comprehensive collection of evidence by clinicians, including forensic photography of injuries sustained by survivors. MediCapt allows this forensic evidence to be securely stored in the cloud and safely shared with law enforcement and justice sector officials to inform investigations and prosecutions. 

How it Works | Resources

Spotlight: HEAL Africa Hospital | Awards

How MediCapt Works

Systematic and Secure Documentation

MediCapt includes sophisticated encryption, cloud data storage, high fidelity to chain of custody standards, and tamper-proof metadata. The app’s data mapping feature can help reveal patterns or prevalence of violence, including the widespread or systematic nature of offenses critical to demonstrating crimes against humanity. The app is designed to securely collect data in conflict zones, as well as remote locations where wireless data transmission is limited.  

Forensic Photography 

MediCapt’s secure capture feature facilitates the collection of forensic photography, which plays a critical role in documenting the physical injuries associated with sexual violence cases.  

Collaborative Design  

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. 

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MediCapt at HEAL Africa Hospital 

Using MediCapt, clinicians at HEAL Africa Hospital in eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo are now securely documenting and preserving evidence of sexual violence.  French video available here.

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Training Resources  


In the News 

PHR Blog 

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In 2024, MediCapt received an Anthem Award in the category of Humanitarian Action & Services- Best Use of Technology Product, Innovation, or Service Categories

In 2019, the New England Business Association awarded its New England Innovation Award in the nonprofit category to PHR for the MediCapt app.

In 2019, The American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) Science and Human Rights Coalition recognized PHR as the 2019 Science and Human Rights Innovator for the MediCapt app.

In 2019, MediCapt was selected for the Sexual Violence Research Initiative and World Bank Group Development Marketplace Award for Innovation in the Prevention and Response to Gender Based Violence.

In 2018, PHR won a Massachusetts Institute of Technology Solve award for its groundbreaking work on MediCapt, one of eight winners in the “Frontlines of Health” Solver category.

In 2013, MediCapt won first prize in the USAID-Humanity United Tech Challenge for Atrocity Prevention competition in the Safe Documentation category. The Tech Challenge emerged from President Barack Obama’s Genocide and Atrocities Prevention initiative, under which he pledged to support creative 21st-century solutions to prevent mass atrocities.

Naivasha Hospital’s Clinical Officer Sylvester Mesa and Senior Nursing Officer Emily Kiragu are part of a team of 13 who are pioneering MediCapt in Kenya. Photo: Adriane Ohanessian for Physicians for Human Rights.

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