Case Study

This year, we will focus on improving the healthcare system of Cambodia by employing Human Centred Design and Appropriate Technologies. Download the full case study below:


An excerpt of the case study is provided below.

Engineering Better Healthcare in Cambodia

Diseases and their consequences can be devastating both to the communities exposed and the individuals who endure them. Withstanding the influx of new diseases and pandemics requires an effective health care system with wide-spread ease of access and robust infrastructure resilient to pandemics.  

This year we will focus on Cambodia, a small South East Asian country with a population 16.25 million, many of which leaves in rural and remote communities. Access to healthcare has always been an challenge, and in the face of a global health crises, it is important we work with the Cambodian people to create innovative solutions that are human centred and appropriate to the local culture and environment.

Three major gaps in the health system has been identified:

  1. Prevention is the best way to deal with any  the damage of future healthcare crises. However, ‘Prevent Epidemics’ has identified disease prevention as one of the top gaps in Cambodian health system.
  2. Cambodia’s emergency response operations capacity was given the lowest rating (1 out of 5) by the World Health Organisation (WHO) Joint External Evaluation (JEE). Quick and precise response is critical in limiting the impact of health crises.
  3. The Global Health Security Index (GHSI) ranked Cambodia 146 out of 195 countries for its healthcare system. Two areas of interest, namely healthcare access and equipment availability are pertinent, during a state of emergency as well as otherwise.

Considering the above issues and using Human Centred Design, how would we best improve and supplement the current healthcare system to better prepare and provide for the Cambodian people and its local communities? We are looking for solutions that will enhance the capacity of existing labour forces, while energy-efficient, environmentally sound, sustainable, locally autonomous, and most of all is appropriate for the community and people you design for! 

A note on the case study: Healthcare in Cambodia is not one dimensional or linear! Rather, it comprises a complex network of systems, within which are issues and challenges as well as solutions. Over the course of the next week, we will be taking an existing part of life in Cambodia, and we will be delving into the range of existing issues that can be derived. However, remember that this Ideathon is NOT limited only to the examples we present or outline. In fact, we encourage you to discover an issue you are passionate about and come up with your own unique solutions that address the key topics listed above!