Baylor College of Medicine’s commitment to community service isn’t limited to the borders of the U.S. With outreach programs and initiatives in more than 60 countries, Baylor brings critical medical services to the most underserved communities across the globe.

Healthcare innovation with Smart Pod, Hackathon

When the Ebola epidemic severely affected West Africa, Dr. Sharmila Anandasabapathy, director of Baylor Global Initiatives (BGI), and her colleagues developed the Emergency Smart Pod to help address the crisis. Funded by the United States Agency for International Development in 2015, the Smart Pod is a portable four-bed treatment unit that can be quickly built and deployed in emergency response situations. The pod helps providers receive information quickly and offers tracking for patients and supplies.

Global healthcare isn’t only the responsibility of physicians. From businesspeople to engineers, a diverse set of skills is needed to spur thoughtful, creative solutions for global health crises.

Established by the Baylor Global Innovation Center and hosted by BGI in September 2015, the first Baylor Global Health Hackathon aimed to do just that.

Around 100 “hackers” gathered for the event to brainstorm and solve problems related to communication, a lack of resources and other health-related issues.

International pediatric AIDS initiative addresses HIV/AIDS pandemic

In 1996, Dr. Mark Kline, now chair of pediatrics at Baylor and physician-in-chief at Texas Children’s Hospital, and several colleagues saw a need to address the spread of HIV/AIDS in Romania and launched the Baylor International Pediatric AIDS Initiative (BIPAI) at Texas Children’s Hospital. For the last 20 years, the initiative has expanded its outreach efforts to 12 countries. Today, BIPAI operates a network of clinical centers that treats more than 168,000 HIV-infected children – more than any other organization worldwide.

In addition to treating HIV, BIPAI also addresses issues such as sickle cell anemia in Angola and tuberculosis in Swaziland.

Cultivating the future of global health

Baylor programs such as the diploma in tropical medicine, the global health track, and the Pediatric Emergency Medicine Global Health Fellowship help inspire the next generation of physicians who will make a global impact on healthcare.

Dr. Richa Shukla, fellow in gastroenterology and hepatology at Baylor, is working with Anandasabapathy to create a smartphone-based application to improve the training of endoscopists.

“The tool, like Google Glass, should allow endoscopists real-time access to information for quick recall during endoscopy. We envision that this will allow endoscopists to better recognize and manage conditions they see during the procedure,” Shukla said.

The tool could be used to train medical professionals in low-resource settings.

Read more about Baylor’s Global Outreach.