Student interns at the Center for Engineering Innovation and Design at Yale University have developed SpokenMed, an information healthcare website aimed at members of minority groups who are often ignored by traditional health resources. The founders hope to empower members of these underrepresented groups to be proactive in maintaining their health. The mission statement of the online efforts says that “SpokenMed recognizes that the current system of American medical care can be at odds with different races, cultures, religious beliefs, and identities. SpokenMed aims to minimize this tension in order to increase medical care accessibility, patient experience, and improve health outcomes.”
The information discussed and provided on SpokenMed is information particular to different minorities and cultural groups, but rarely found on other hospital websites. The goal is to reduce healthcare disparities by connecting people and providing more information. Current forums and discussion groups include the topics of women’s health, mental health, maternity, modesty, fitness, and hospital care.
Tiwa Lawal, a junior at Yale and one of the founders of the site, says that “we wanted to increase the conversation among these groups so patients could be healthier. So we created a website. It’s a place where all of these parties could discuss health care on level ground.”
Also on the website are contributions from healthcare professionals, hospital reviews, and essays from healthcare workers and community and religious leaders about cultural-based disparities in healthcare.
“We’re hoping to expand the number of users on our website as well as the number of contributors,” Lawal said. “In the coming year, we are working on generating more content and updating the website as we get feedback.”