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Innovators | Technology

Digital lifeline for developing nations

Donato Tramuto, Health eVillages

Donato Tramuto, Health eVillages
Yoon S. Byun/Globe Staff
Donato Tramuto of Health eVillages

IN THE UNITED STATES, physicians are as likely to tote a smartphone as a stethoscope, for communication and to help diagnosis. For veteran health care entrepreneur Donato Tramuto, it was clear that mobile devices could be a valuable tool for caregivers in developing countries.

“This is the new frontier in improving patient care in remote regions of the globe that ironically, may have few hospital beds, but plenty of cellphones,’’ said Tramuto, chief executive of Physicians Interactive in Marlborough.

Tramuto, 55, began in Haiti after an earthquake two years ago. A dozen mobile devices were brought there. Physicians who previously guessed about drug dosing had an automated guide.


Last summer, Tramuto founded the nonprofit Health eVillages to carry the mission around the world. It has helped more than 80 clinicians in six pilot sites, including Haiti, China, and rural Louisiana.

“Mobile health technology has made a big difference, said Tramuto, “even saving lives.’’