As a Seattle-based ethnographer, designer and co-founder of the non-profit tech company Medic Mobile, my work is about seeing complex health systems from the perspective of the poor and marginalized and responding pragmatically. I teach an MSc level course on mHealth through the University of Edinburgh’s Global Health Academy and I’ll soon be finishing PhD studies as a Gates Cambridge Scholar in digital innovation and organizational ethnography. I work with a remarkable supervisory committee in professors Michael Barrett, Mark de Rond and Jennifer Howard-Grenville. My dissertation is titled Sensemaking and Human-Centered Design: A Practice Perspective.

Medic Mobile is a nonprofit tech company that equips health workers with digital tools to provide better care and reach more people. Since co-founding Medic during the fourth year of my undergraduate program, I’ve worked with a great team to design and implement several open source software applications, implementing over 70 digital health projects in 23 countries. Collectively these projects involve over 12,000 health workers who serve over 8 million patients. With a suitcase as head quarters, I traveled throughout East Africa to oversee Medic Mobile’s key program areas of research, product development, and implementation, keeping each area is in tune with the bigger picture for health systems strengthening as well as the local contexts of the places Medic works. Medic Mobile received a Skoll award in 2014 and I received a 2010 Echoing Green Fellowship and a 2009 Compton Mentor fellowship. Our work has been covered by a variety of news outlets including The Economist, CNN, The Discovery Channel, Reuters, and The Guardian. My writing has been published in scientific journals and conferences as well as The Oregonian, and National Geographic.

My academic trajectory reflects a broad interest in technology, designing and global health equity. Currently based at Cambridge’s Judge Business School, I also hold degrees in sociology, biochemistry & molecular biology and the liberal arts. As an undergraduate at Lewis & Clark, I conducted honors thesis research in ribosome biogenesis and was named a Pamplin Fellow, the highest honor Lewis & Clark awards its students. I developed a passion for activism and the social sciences through a policy effort that resulted in a series of lectures for nursing students and community groups and contributions to the writing and passage of health reform legislation in Oregon (which predated and was later rolled into the U.S. Affordable Care Act). I later conducted ethnographic research at a walk in clinic in down-town Havana, and among health workers who use mobile phones in Malawi. I have lived and worked in the Pacific Northwest, The Netherlands, Guatemala, Cuba, Malawi, Kenya and the United Kingdom. I’m proficient in Spanish and Dutch.

© isaacholeman.org | colophon