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  This page is part of the OLPC Health Project. Hardware | Software | Content | Health Jam
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Welcome to the OLPC Health Project Page. To understand what we're doing and why we're here please read our Vision Statement.

We are an interdisciplinary group working on medical-related projects associated with the XO, including software, hardware, and content. Health projects can be a local grassroots undertaking, a student group project, a pilot implementation, a global community creation-sprint weekend - we cut across geographic, disciplinary, and institutional boundaries to help all health-related OLPC work move forward.


Recent news

  • The Health Jam in Seattle, WA took place April 18-20 at the University of Washington. See our Results and plans for the future.


We're always interested in hearing from, talking with, and collaborating with others with similar interests. No particular experience is required—just a passion for OLPC and the health field, and a willingness to learn. We're all constantly learning from and teaching each other.

If you are interested in what we are doing, since March 2008, most of our discussions take place on the Health mailing list. The Library mailing list was used before and connects one to the broader community of content discussions. The best way to join the conversation is to join the lists and introduce yourself. Note that if you are not a list member, any messages you post to a list email address will have to be moderated by the list owner, which results in a delay in distribution.

Log in or create an account on the OLPC wiki, so you can edit pages and receive email notices of updates on pages you want to watch.

For chat via IRC you can find us at #olpc-health on freenode. (what is IRC?)

We occasionally hold phone meetings, you can find the agenda and minutes at Health meetings.

Health Projects

The Health projects take three major forms; Content, Software and Hardware along with some other organizational and implementation projects.

Health Content

We are working to create a comprehensive set of health information modules that are localized to each of the target countries. Over the next several months we will be working to find partners to donate content appropriate for the XO. There are also several existing copyright-free projects that we are translating and extending such as the Ankylosing Spondylitis blog. We will use that content as a starting point, localizing and extending it to meet the needs of the children in our target countries. For more information on this project, see Health content.

Bolivia Maternal Health Education Project

OLE Bolivia is partnering with them to develop a content/education delivery bundle for field test in March of 2009.

Animal Health

Basic animal health care and preventative measures; One, connect basic biology content more closely to the study of human health; and two, directly effect likelihood of animal borne diseases. Animal health and husbandry education could also have sanitation and economic benefits in rural areas. For more information see Animal Health.

Health Software

We are working software projects geared specifically towards Health on the XO, and are adapting existing applications as well. For example Measure is one example of an existing Activity being adapted for Health use. By plugging in sensors like an EKG to the XO's audio-in port, vital signs can be measured via software. Vital signs and medical records can also be stored in various medical record software systems. Various people are working on WorldVistA for this purpose.

Health Hardware

There are currently several groups working on Health sensors for the XO. Some are a simple as a temperature gauge that can be plugged into the audio-in port and used with Measure. But the eventual goal of Health Hardware is a $10USD USB device that can act as a full TeleHealth remote sensor package for pulse, temperature, blood oximeter, and many other simple sensors. Along with existing components such as the built in webcam on the XO this will allow doctors to diagnose patients from hundreds of miles away.

Health Misc

There are other projects that are needed to implement any sort of Healthcare with the XO. There are ongoing efforts to help translate our content, as well as our software. Recruiting new healthcare workers, programmers and other tasks is always important and could use your help. Once our materials are finished, we will of course need people for training people how to use our tools. And of course this and other Health Category pages need organizing and updating. We can always use volunteers for this.

Health Organizations

The Health Projects of OLPC are still in their infancy. Some working relationships have been started with Health Organizations. The Hesperian Foundation[1] is the first such group to contribute to OLPC Health. But other groups have expressed interest and talks are underway.

If you would like to add to our list of candidates, or help write proposals to these groups, please visit the Health Organizations page.

Getting Involved

If you are interested in our project you can help. We need people from all disciplines, health-related or not, professionally trained or not. If you don't find a place in any of these projects you can always contact Arjun or Seth to help find you a home.

If you think you fit any of the following categories, please visit the page and see how you can help:

This article is a stub. You can help the OLPC project by expanding it.

A note about OLPC and Health projects

OLPC is committed in its efforts to providing children in developing countries with a low cost, connected laptop. The laptop is a tool for learning, sharing and expression; however, the presence of a low-cost, rugged and connected device such as the XO laptop goes on to benefit the communities (kids and their families) in more ways than just one. One of these aspects is improving health and living practices of people.

There has been a lot of interest from volunteers and organizations to develop applications and tools around the XO laptop that would help the recipients of the laptop and their families adopt healthy living practices. These initiatives have largely centered around development of software and content which serves to act as a source of reference for symptoms, diseases and preventive practices and healthy living. There have also been certain efforts in the development of tele-health peripheral modules.

While OLPC is not currently in a position where it could fund these projects, it can endorse the efforts and partner in grant applications. Also, OLPC will do its best in providing communication channels (mailing lists, conference calls, project hosting etc.) that facilitate these projects.

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