Barbara Ngouyombo

Finalist 2008

Barbara Ngouyombo

A mobile health records service for travellers.

Barbara Ngouyombo has long believed that information communications technology (ICT) can be a powerful force in healthcare. This sparked her idea for Anoigma, an online service that will provide instant access to medical records from anywhere in the world and keep track of any medical care received while travelling. "I see the world as one country," she says. "Anoigma - which means "openness" in Greek - can make that vision a reality for travellers, by giving them security, convenience and peace of mind."

Barbara is no stranger to international travel. Born and raised on Réunion Island, she began to explore how ICT could be used to improve medical care during her studies at the French engineering school, Telecom Bretagne. Later, her work as a systems engineer at the French Embassy in Japan enabled her to increase her knowledge of ICT medical solutions.

"I studied how the Japanese manage the healthcare of ageing populations using electronic data exchange. My research, along with the proven successes of ICT medical solutions in the US, suggests that there is potential for similar technologies in Europe."

A sign of the timeliness of Barbara's idea is that two technology giants, Google and Microsoft, are also entering the online medical records market. Barbara's service will set itself apart from the pack with its user-driven approach. In creating Anoigma, Barbara has consulted major healthcare providers in Asia that cater to foreign patients. The service is designed to be fully integrated into their healthcare systems. Anoigma aims to receive the full endorsement of the medical professional community and to ensure a greater reliability of data, as the information will be entered by healthcare professionals, not patients.