Medical security during travels in Ethiopia

Background

Med con team is a medical assistance provider operating on a worldwide scale through the means of partner companies. Earlier this year, an employee from their customer University of Stuttgart, was on business travels in Ethiopia. During the course of the travel to Addis Ababa, her state of health changed, and she began to feel extraordinary stomach pains, prompting her to press the emergency button in the Safeture app.

Challenge

The challenge of the situation was twofold. First, the traveler in question was in a foreign country with a questionable medical infrastructure. Even though preparatory information was communicated to her before the departure of the trip, several questions came to her in her state of anxiousness:  

  • What are the next steps?
  • What do I need to do now?
  • Who will pay for this?

From med con team’s perspective, the primary challenge was to evaluate the situation and decide on the proper medical actions for the affected patient. Due to the medical nature of the incident, it was clear to the operator of med con team’s 24/7 emergency hotline, that med con team’s Medical Director had to be involved immediately. This doctor would ultimately be the decision-maker on the medical course of action for the traveler.

Solution

In the preparatory stage of the trip, Safeture’s country information module came of use for both the traveler and the customer, University of Stuttgart. The traveler could access the country information via the mobile app, to prepare herself for critical risks that distinguish Ethiopia and general medical conditions. Simultaneously, the university could use the country information module in the Web Portal as an act of proactiveness, to determine whether or not to send the traveler to the destination given the country’s preconditions.

Furthermore, because of med con team’s proactive work with the university, they had already communicated that the Safeture app was part of their service offering. So when the traveler clicked on the emergency button in the app, the caller was directly forwarded to med con team’s hotline number. This emergency call allowed her to speak to an operator and explain her symptoms, and in return, the operator was able to answer all her questions and explain the process in detail. In parallel, the operator also sent the same information to the university’s medical department as standard procedure.

The operator would then arrange a conference call between the patient and the Medical Director. He then explained how she should proceed. She was recommended to take the appropriate medicine; and if it did not have the desired effect, med con team would then facilitate her with organizing a transfer to a hospital and hospital admission. 

Outcome

The next day, on the 21st of January, the patient called med con team back. She had started taking the medicine the doctor had recommended and it had worked. She was feeling well again. The patient explained that she wouldn’t need any further help and was ready to continue her work in Ethiopia. Before ending the call, the operator encouraged the patient to contact med con team again if she experienced any new or lingering problems.

Conclusion

Using the emergency button in the Safeture app, the traveler was quickly connected to her assistance company. They were able to immediately identify and locate the woman and put her in contact with a doctor who could give her immediate instructions on medication. Thanks to this, the woman did not have to interrupt her trip for hospitalization and was able to complete her mission. 

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