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Projects

Fighting human rights abuses in the Thai fishing industry.

Human trafficking has been taking place for decades within the Thai fishing industry. Undocumented migrant laborers are recruited from Myanmar, Cambodia, and Laos with the hopes of sending money home to their families. Once aboard the fishing vessel, some fishermen are expected to work 18 hours a day, 7 days a week, sometimes getting paid, sometimes not. If a worker complains or becomes unable to work, some captains throw them overboard as an expendable asset.
Media exposure to these practices caused world-wide outrage and the European Union threatened sanctions against the entire Thai fishing industry. To forestall economic disaster and eradicate an immoral practice, the Royal Thai Government teamed with iRespond to develop a system to account for every worker leaving from or returning to a Thai port. 170,000 migrant fishermen are currently enrolled through the iRespond system, providing basic human rights to a population that previously experienced human-slavery conditions.

Decentralized identity for refugees in Thailand.

For decades Karen and Karenni ethnic minorities have been fleeing conflict and persecution in Myanmar to the relative safety of refugee camps in nearby Thailand. Dwindling food rations due to donor fatigue and poor long-term prospects creates pressure to leave the camps. Half of the residents were born in the camps, making them stateless and without any identification. Many others are being treated for chronic illness, with no methodology to access their medical records once they leave the camps.

iRespond and International Rescue Committee (IRC) partnered on an identity pilot with the goal of developing privacy-protecting decentralized identity, portability of credentials, and improved continuum of care. In addition to health credentials, livelihood credentials will also be issued to assist in employment opportunities. The pilot is funded through ID2020.

99.86% user acceptance for HIV testing in Kenya

The Center for Global Health at the University of Washington selected iRespond's biometric identification system to protect patient privacy and link their electronic records. Their study included routine HIV testing and counseling (HTC) at 4 sites in Kenya.

Out of 8,794 patients enrolled, 99.86% agreed to register using iRespond. The operator reported that the most significant accomplishment of this work was the linkage of records for patients with HIV in an automated fashion (no ID cards, personal identifiers). Being able to connect patient records from the testing facility to the care facility, both within the same site or different sites, was a quantum leap for this community. This information has enhanced individual tracking within the HIV care continuum.

Protecting at-risk populations in Myanmar

Population Services International (PSI) provides HIV testing for high-risk groups in Myanmar where an HIV diagnosis can lead to serious discrimination. iRespond solves the critical problem of ensuring that patient records remain anonymous.

PSI’s network of 21 clinics provides health services to HIV positive patients, and individuals in the system can visit any clinic and be checked in using an iris scan. iRespond's process accurately connects them to their diagnosis and treatment plan. Confidentiality is maintained while improving their coordinated care.

Johns Hopkins and CDC chose iRespond in Senegal

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) supported a national reference library to develop reliable data on HIV in Senegal where HIV is the fourth most common cause of death. Incentives resulted in participants enrolling in multiple trials.

John Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health needed an accurate patient database that also protects confidentiality. iRespond enabled researchers to build a national database of HIV prevalence without duplication or any link to personally identifiable information (PII).

Vaccinating against HPV in Sierra Leone

Immunization protocol management is another benefit of our process. In Sierra Leone, we supported a groundbreaking Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) vaccination program. Since the HPV vaccine comes in a series of critically-timed injections, it is important to track patients who have not completed their vaccination series.

iRespond's technology connected four major hospitals, enabling them to share anonymous vaccination data across a centralized digital health network. Before iRespond, healthcare providers had to rely on the patient to learn where they were in the series of shots. The lack of good data led to many young women not completing the full series, resulting in incomplete protection from HPV - a cause of infertility, pain, and sometimes cancer.