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Published: November 21st, 2019

“Tech For The Public Good” is supported by a grant from Solutions Journalism Network.

Technology is a double-edged sword. Despite well-publicized threats from bots, hackers, government spooks and huge online firms with their invasive algorithms, tech is often a force for public good.

In this special episode, we report on an innovative local effort to promote better healthcare for those who need it most: the residents of America's poorest Congressional District: New York's 15th CD in The Bronx.

Ivelyse Andino, founder and CEO of Radical Health, a minority-owned, Bronx-based health equity social enterprise that uses technology, an app powered by artificial intelligence, and community conversations to help black and brown pregnant women and new mothers understand their health care rights, build trust and develop self advocacy. 

According to US government statistics, black women are up to six times more likely to die from complications of pregnancy than white women. "The US is ranked as one of the most dangerous countries in the world to give birth if you are a black or brown woman," says Ivelyse. 

She compares the healthcare system to a MacDonalds. "You're in you're out. Here is all the things you need or you think you need and have at it."

Ivelyse was born and raised in The Bronx. She enjoyed a career in health tech, and trained oncologists on new drugs. Her life took a dramatic turn when her mother was diagnosed with cancer, which forced her to personally confront systematic disparities and failings of the healthcare system.

While reporting this episode we also spoke with several outstanding activists including Kaniya Samm who is a community organizer; and Alexis Del Rio, the co-founder of Bronx Móvil, a bilingual mobile harm reduction program.

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