New York, NY
Physicians for Human Rights (PHR) is honored to have been selected among eight winners in the “Frontlines of Health” Solver category at this year’s MIT Solve event. PHR showcased its new innovative MediCapt technology to an audience and panel of expert judges in New York and walked away with a $10,000 grant.
Karen Naimer, the director of PHR’s Program on Sexual Violence in Conflict Zones, outlined the benefits of the groundbreaking app, and demonstrated why it is crucial in helping secure justice for sexual violence survivors.
“Every year, tens of thousands of adults and children around the world are raped in armed conflict, in their communities, in their homes. Most survivors don’t report these crimes, but some do come forward…. Tragically, most of these cases fail because of poor evidence, perpetuating a culture of impunity. Evidence fails because forensic exams are rarely conducted, medical charts are incomplete or illegible; doctors, police, lawyers, and judges – they don’t communicate with each other; hospitals and police stations don’t have locked cabinets to store confidential medical records – risking loss, theft, or tampering,” Naimer told the event.
“At Physicians for Human Rights, we use science and medicine to document human rights violations. Since 2011, we’ve been working with medical and legal professionals to improve the way they capture, preserve, and transmit forensic evidence to help support local prosecutions of these crimes,” Naimer explained.
In Kenya and in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, PHR, with its partners, has been active in developing new skills such as forensic photography and the use of standardized forms to make documentation more accurate. At the heart of this work is the development of a groundbreaking new mobile app, MediCapt – a digital medical form with photo-capture capacity which allows the secure storing of forensic evidence in the cloud, and the ability to safely transmit it to those in the justice and law enforcement sectors.
“MediCapt has the potential to document sexual violence cases anywhere, anytime. It can be used with any language, any form, and within any legal jurisdiction. We see the opportunity for growth and to scale this new technology to allow for more convictions and greater justice for all sexual violence survivors,” Naimer said.
The winning grant money, funded by Solve, will go towards the development and expansion of MediCapt.
Physicians for Human Rights (PHR) is a New York-based advocacy organization that uses science and medicine to prevent mass atrocities and severe human rights violations. Learn more here.