Implementing organisation Physicians for Human Rights
Period of implementation 12/2019 – 11/2021
Digital tools Mobile App
Country DR Congo
Sector Health
Budget 315.000 €
Contribution to SDGs sdg 3sdg 5sdg 16

 

What is the project aiming to achieve?

Every year, tens of thousands of adults and children are sexually violated in conflict zones around the world. Most survivors do not report these crimes, but for those who do, often their cases fail due to poor evidence.

Forensic exams are rarely conducted, medical charts are incomplete, and clinicians, law enforcement officers, lawyers, and judges don't communicate with or understand each other.

Health facilities and police stations using paper forms often lack proper storage for secure preservation. They often also encounter difficulties when travelling long distances to retrieve evidence due to poor roads or lack of access to vehicles.

To address these challenges, even in the most resource-constrained environments, Physicians for Human Rights developed MediCapt, a mobile application to help clinicians document forensic evidence of sexual violence during a patient encounter.

It's envisioned as a tool that clinicians could use to collect, securely store, and safely share forensic evidence of sexual and gender based crimes with legal, and law enforcement professionals while keeping chain of custody, safeguarding patient privacy, protecting witness identities, and preventing destruction or loss of vital evidence.

Digital component

Medi-Capt is a twofold Android-based application, one for mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets that converts paper medical intake forms to a digital platform that prompts clinicians to collect standardised forensic evidence from survivors, including physical and psychological findings.

The other, a web-based online dashboard, that will allow police officers, lawyers, and judges to securely access pertinent case information uploaded by clinicians.

MediCapt helps ensure that unlike paper records, evidence is comprehensively recorded, not easily lost or compromised, and that information is legible so that legal professionals are able to use it to build cases and prosecute perpetrators. It also addresses the common problem of stock outs of paper forms that prevent sexual and gender-based crimes from being documented at all.

By incorporating secure photo capture capabilities, clinicians are able to use MediCapt to collect forensic photography of survivors’ injuries and securely transmit the data to authorities prosecuting sexual violence crimes. This documentation technology also supports an interactive pictogram of the human body that allows clinicians to indicate the location and attributes of patient injuries on the pictogram and prompts them to take forensic photos of the corresponding wounds. Evidence critical for strong police investigations and effective prosecutions.