The Ongoing Story of Frontida Records

September 14, 2022

Students from the USC Innovation in Engineering and Design for Global Challenges program trekking to Camp Moria in Lesbos, Greece. 

Our mission began in the fall of 2019 on the Greek island of Lesbos. Across its fertile plains, olive trees flourish, and the Aegean Sea sparkles in view. Although a paradise of rich history and tradition, Lesbos also housed Camp Moria, the largest refugee camp in Europe and the worst on the planet

The overcrowded camp overwhelmed physicians. With the rise of COVID-19 cases, refugee patients fared even worse. At the root of these struggles was Moria's rudimentary paper documentation system. Language barriers and poor handwriting made paper patient charts challenging to interpret. Mountains of records collecting throughout the day proved difficult to organize and navigate. Additionally, physicians could provide little defense against the damage incurred by natural disasters. Challenging to manage, medical staff rarely shared information from these records among various health groups. 

During the pandemic, the camp struggled to create actionable data analytics to track outbreaks. Managing teams lacked the resources to log government-mandated surveys regarding COVID-19. As students of the 2019 Innovation in Engineering and Design for Global Challenges class, our founders sought to resolve these disparities. 

Hosted by the University of Southern California, the program empowers young social entrepreneurs by providing firsthand experience in crisis locations, as reported in a dot.LA article featuring Frontida. Volunteering at Moria, our founders formed Frontida to expand high-quality healthcare to the most vulnerable and reduce physician burnout in under-resourced settings.

Our streamlined electronic health records system (EHR) contains user-friendly forms for fast entries and searches. Using a low-code toolset, our programmers rapidly customize and edit in tandem with the evolving demands of low-resource and crisis-responding clinics. Accounting for remote operations and emergencies, we designed our EHR to function on any electronic device regardless of internet connectivity. 

Above all, we value human-centered design. Along each stage in development, we collaborate with medical teams, humanitarian groups, and the communities they serve. To promote accuracy in care and save lives, we prioritize their medical, cultural, and geographical needs. Hear more about our commitment to inclusive and empathetic technology from Frontida CEO Lauren Yen and Product Development Lead Ria Xi in an interview by the USC Viterbi School of Engineering.

Launching in Camp Moria, we supported over 1,200 refugees across 4,500 patient visits. Moreover, our EHR has harnessed real-time data trends for the Crisis Management Association (CMA). In turn, we helped CMA share reliable information on refugee health and the camp's condition with the Greek Ministry of Health. Since then, we have served refugees, migrants, and marginalized patients in Afghanistan, Panama, Poland, and Jordan. Today, we will continue to uplift refugee relief efforts in Ukraine.

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