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HERA: A Health Platform for Refugees banner

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HERA: A Health Platform for Refugees

HERA is a digital platform designed to decrease death and disease due to preventable illnesses among refugee populations.

HERA App is a mobile health (mhealth) intervention designed for Syrian refugees under temporary protection in Turkey, a population of 4 million people.The application was envisioned as a guide and a bridge for refugees, especially women and children, to access healthcare services in Turkey. Increasing demand for preventive services, such as childhood immunizations and antenatal visits, will eventually lead to saving lives, reducing the hospitalization times, and lowering healthcare costs in this population. HERA is an acronym for ‘Health Recording App’ and is the name of a powerful Greek Goddess.

HERA was designed to decrease maternal and infant mortality and morbidity by increasing the uptake of vaccinations and prenatal care. The crucial distinguishing feature of HERA is that it focuses on the demand-side of the care equation: while the majority of healthcare solutions focus on increasing the supply of healthcare, HERA works by increasing the demand for existing health services. To achieve this goal, HERA sends push notifications to users about upcoming important medical appointments. The app also provides information in English, Turkish, and Arabic about the Turkish health and legal system, which is unfamiliar to many refugees. Additionally, users are able to locate nearby medical clinics and to store their personal health records in a secure encrypted location. 

All of our codes for both backend & mobile app v1.0 can be found here: (we are trying to make sure all of our is reproducible and understandable, bare with us!)


Leadership: Team and Advisors

Core Team:

● Aral Sürmeli – Global team management, partnerships, scaling strategy

● Hande Tarcan – In-country team management and technology development

● Sarah Bolongaita – Monitoring and evaluation design and analysis

● Matt Hughsam – Fundraising and scaling strategy

● Erdal Bayraktar & Pınar Erçelik – Pilot coordination and in-country management

Advisory Board:

● App Design Advisor - Prof. Nitika Pai, MD, MPH, PhD. McGill University

○ mHealth expert, created apps for HIV response in African countries

● IT and Scaling Advisor - Prof. Ata Akin, PhD. Acıbadem University

○ Leader of incubation center of Acıbadem University

● Scaling Advisor - Prof. Rifat Atun, MBBS, MBA. Harvard University

○ Global health systems expert, special advisor to Turkish Ministry of Health

● Statistics and Evaluation Advisor - Dr. Figen Demir, MD. Acıbadem University

○ Epidemiology and statistics expert

HERA App description short video: https://youtu.be/uGFLJXlqwBk

HERA App Screenshots: