In 2011, Physicians for Human Rights (PHR) launched its Program on Sexual Violence in Conflict Zones to confront impunity for widespread sexual violence – used as both a weapon of war and a common crime. Rare cases that made it to court often failed because of insufficient evidence to support survivors’ allegations. In that context, PHR saw medical professionals as powerful change agents and created an initiative to enhance collaboration between medical and legal professionals to collect, document, and analyze forensic evidence to hold perpetrators accountable, and to improve medical care and access to justice for survivors. PHR has been working with doctors, nurses, trauma counsellors, police officers, lawyers, and judges in Kenya and the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) to develop comprehensive, standardized methods for collecting forensic evidence of sexual violence to increase the likelihood of effective and successful investigations and prosecutions of these crimes.
But health facilities and police stations using paper-based forms often lack proper storage for secure preservation or officials encounter difficulties traveling distances to transmit or retrieve evidence due to poor roads or lack of access to vehicles, among other complicating factors.
To address these challenges and to leverage mobile phone penetration even in the most resource-constrained environments, PHR has been developing a high-tech solution called MediCapt, a mobile application to help clinicians document forensic evidence of sexual violence during a patient encounter. This app converts a standardized medical intake form to a digital platform and combines it with a secure mobile camera to facilitate forensic photography. Clinicians can use the app to compile evidence, photograph survivors’ injuries, and securely transmit the data to police, lawyers, and judges involved in prosecuting these crimes. Digitizing these forms minimizes the chances of loss, tampering, or theft of medical evidence, while preserving chain of custody.
Our partners in the DRC and Kenya see MediCapt as a solution for yielding stronger evidence, preserving chain of custody, and improving data security and privacy. Among its key features, MediCapt includes sophisticated encryption, cloud data storage, high fidelity to chain of custody standards, and tamper-proof metadata. Significantly, the Android-based app is designed to securely collect data in conflict zones, as well as remote locations where internet connectivity and/or wireless data transmission is limited. PHR has been collaborating with clinicians in the DRC and Kenya to improve MediCapt’s features (offline printing, secure photo capture capacity, and back-end review for quality improvement and assurance). We have also been working with health care facilities to integrate the app into clinical workflows and co-developed implementation protocols. We went “live” with patients in Naivasha, Kenya in 2018 and we will soon pilot with patients for the first time in the DRC.
Physicians for Human Rights (PHR) is seeking a Technological Consultant to support MediCapt in the DRC. The consultant will serve as the technological expert for MediCapt in the DRC and support project management, working in close coordination with PHR staff, hospital administrators, end users, the MediCapt technological consultant in Kenya, and other partners.
Reports to: DRC Coordinator
● In collaboration with the PHR team and hospital administrators, conduct an assessment of the hospital for MediCapt use. This will include assessing the resources available at the hospital and necessary upgrades (WiFi, equipment, etc.), identifying the MediCapt end users and support team, mapping the current flow of documentation and record keeping, and identifying other technological or mHealth projects at the hospital that could be relevant for MediCapt.
● Prepare and facilitate training sessions for end users.
● Plan and facilitate kickoff meeting for hospital team and other relevant authorities.
● Support and mentor hospital Information and Communications Technology and Records teams throughout the duration of the project, both on and off site.
● Coordinate with PHR staff, end users, and tech firms on any necessary updates to the application.
● Identify common MediCapt issues, assist in documenting the solutions, and escalate to responsible PHR staff for issues that cannot be handled locally.
● Meet with hospital administrators and staff to build and maintain positive, supportive relationships.
● Work with Kenya-based PHR staff and technological consultant for MediCapt to ensure cross-learning.
● Other responsibilities as deemed necessary by PHR staff.
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