Alex went to the ER in Paris in July 2014 due to severe pain caused by what turned out to be a large kidney stone. As he had to answer the many questions asked by the doctor triaging incoming patients, he had trouble remembering and articulating his medical history given how much pain he was in. And then when the next patient who walked in only spoke Bambara, you can imagine how difficult it was for the medical staff to ensure they had the right information for diagnosis and treatment. Moreover, the time it took everyone to try and collect the information, whether in the local language or a foreign one, could have been used to attend to the 30 or so people still waiting in line.
When Alex and Tuncay met up shortly afterwards and discussed how such inefficiencies could be avoided, they thought of creating MedicalVisa.org.
Right now, we're just a project, not yet an organization. That's why we can't accept donations. The reason we're taking our time to set things up is that there's some regulatory complexity when it comes to storing personal medical data. We're still investigating what are our best options and plan to have this resolved by the end of 2017 so that 2018 can be our true year 1.