The Mashavu Timeline


2012: A partnership with Safaricom, the largest telecommunications provider in east Africa, enabled Mashavu to offer telemedicine services at Safaricom Digital Villages throughout Kenya. Safaricom also agreed to send SMS blasts over their networks to alert community members about Mashavu and market the services offered. Mashavu also started an endeavor in conjunction with the Kenyan Ministry of Health, to mobilize CHWs. Equipped with biometric equipment, the CHWs are better enabled  to collect comprehensive health data from village households.

2011: Mashavu rigorously amplified its operations through a partnership with the United Nations Industrial Development Office (UNIDO). Together we employed a multi-systems approach that focused on training Community Health Workers (CHWs) to serve as kiosk operators, building strategic partnership, and conducting a  Pilot Project with 6 kiosks established in various remote locations. Through this process, team members also refined the system’s concepts of operations and conducted systemic assessment of the system.

2010: In May, twenty students, two faculty members, and three healthcare professionals traveled to Nyeri, Kenya, a town located about two hours north of Nairobi. Over the course of three weeks, the team saw 150 patients and collected the opinions of 300 people through interviews and focus groups. Each patient who came to a Mashavu kiosk had his or her medical history collected and vital measurements tested using both commercially available devices and low-cost ruggedized biomedical devices developed by Penn State students.

2009: Mashavu formalizes partnership with the Children and Youth Empowerment Center and moves primary operations to Kenya. This trip verified the viability of physical kiosks in context.  For the first time, the concept of operations could be tested, and demonstrations of the kiosk could be performed.

2008:  The idea for pre-primary healthcare is born at the Humanitarian Engineering and Social Entrepeneurship (HESE) Program at the Pennsylvania State University. Over the summer, 3 students and one faculty member traveled to Tanzania and worked to validate the Mashavu concept. They sought to understand whether the people in Tanzania would need, understand, and benefit from a telemedicine system; design a business model and gauge the availability of the primary and enabling technologies in the local area.