Shark Tank 2.0 teaser!
We’re gearing up to announce our next Shark Tank competition!
In preparation for another exciting competition, here’s a profile of last year’s winners, mBadlaav. Get ready to be inspired!
Tell us about mBadlaav – What does it do? How does it work?
mBadlaav provides a step-by-step guide for healthcare practitioners on post-sexual assault protocols and aims to shift medical focus when treating rape survivors to a patient-centered approach.
mBadlaav is a healthcare decision support tool and a data registry tool, helping doctors to understand what to do when a rape survivor arrives at a hospital, and also allowing doctors to digitize rape reports in a comprehensive location that can be efficiently sent to the police. mBadlaav facilitates patient-doctor communication and empowers women to confidently seek care in hospitals that employ standardized protocols.
What gave you the idea for mBadlaav?
The issue of rape has always been close to our hearts, but the trigger was an episode of a show called “Satyamev Jayate” that highlighted cases of girls and women being turned away after seeking care for sexual assault. Doctors treated the girls as links in a chain of evidence, as opposed to treating their physical and emotional trauma. We realized that there are areas where doctors can improve their treatment of rape survivors. Women deserve respect and appropriate, consistent treatment when they go to the hospital for any reason, and this is even more critical for survivors of rape or sexual assault.
Who is the team behind mBadlaav?
Parth Chodavadia manages the business model of the mBadlaav. He is a senior at Duke University double-majoring in Neuroscience and Global Health. Parth has worked in slums in India on education and perinatal care initiatives. In his experience working on the ground, Parth has witnessed how technological innovations can be utilized to catalyze development – how the mobile phone can be used to not only educate children but also as a platform for payment of street vendors, health services for pregnant women, and behavior change for doctors/nurses. Through mBadlaav, Parth is excited to address an issue that has often been neglected and ignored by the health system in India and tap into the enormous potential for social impact harnessed in the mobile phone.
Suhani Jalota is an international student from Mumbai and a senior majoring in Economics and Global Health. Suhani ran mBadlaav’s pilot study over the summer of 2015 and is leading the team’s efforts to understand the current process from the time a girl comes to a hospital after a rape incident to the police interrogations. She is compelled by women’s stories and driven by change and dynamic structures. She has researched, designed implementation strategies in urban slum and rural communities for four years on projects ranging from adolescent girl health, water and sanitation, and social protection policies. Her passion lies in connecting talent to opportunity. She firmly believes in thinking big, and just going for it.
Preeti Prabhu is a second year Master’s student from Mumbai in the MIDP Program (Masters in International Development Policy) at the Sanford School of Public Policy. With multiple years of work experience as a social worker in various hospitals, Preeti is in-charge of working on hospital partnerships for our mobile application. She has extensive experience working in the international development sector and has worked on community development projects in slums in Mumbai on education-targeted projects. Preeti has also directly worked with rape survivors as a social worker and has many ties with major hospitals in the city of Mumbai. Preeti is passionate about tackling the issue of sexual assault and is looking forward to raising awareness about proper medical treatment of rape survivors through mBadlaav.
What was the most exciting thing about making mBadlaav?
While making mBadlaav, we were able to learn more about an issue that we are passionate about and would otherwise have not had the platform to delve deeper into these issues. Not only did we get the opportunity to speak with doctors on the ground who recognize this problem but also were able to begin developing partnerships with non-governmental organizations working in this space. By hearing their narratives and their inspiring stories, we were all the more motivated to create a mobile application that could revolutionize post-sexual assault care in India.
What’s been your biggest struggle so far?
As we are trying to make mBadlaav an intermediary between hospitals and the police for each rape patient, we are coming across numerous legal and infrastructural barriers. To be able to create widespread change in hospitals and eventually in the country, there would need to be a policy-level change that mandates doctors to report each rape patient and enforces an incentive structure for them. Hence, we need to work alongside the police from the beginning to understand the current structures in place to record the rape victim’s information about the incident and improvise that in the application.
What are your future plans for mBadlaav?
We are currently speaking to multiple NGOs in India who are interested in creating a standardized protocol for patients who have experienced sexual assault and conducting market research as to the feasibility of our idea, i.e., whether doctors would find a system like mBadlaav acceptable. We want to understand how hospitals can use this model in the most effective manner. We do not want to burden them with another application, but rather provide them with an easier method of monitoring their practices when rape patients arrive to the hospital. We are also speaking with some doctors and researchers in India to begin narrowing the content that we want to use for the application so that it is very simple to use but also very effective.