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May 18, 2021

Roberta Morlin: Improving Women’s Health Through App Development

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Papua New Guinea is a fast developing third world nation that has caught up to trending times rather quickly, boasting an increase in economy of 8 per cent in the last 14 or 15 years, as stated by Prime Minister, Peter O’Neill. Though PNG has this to boast about, it also has a number of health related topics and issues that remain taboo to discuss in the society; women’s health especially, leaving little room for improvement or progress on dealing with the issue, however, entrepreneur Roberta Morlin is determined to change that.

Featured in Business Advantage PNG, Morlin is developing an app that will be able to provide direct medical consultation for women in remote PNG, saying she decided to help improve the health of Papua New Guinea’s female population using digital technology.

“As we know, cervical cancer is the third most common cancer worldwide and it mainly affects women in third world or low income countries.”

Outlined by Morlin, the contributing factors in PNG include: cultural barriers or taboos, sensitivity issues (embarrassment within women to discuss such issues with health workers), and lack of awareness.

“So my concept is an app, called Fe’mahealth (pronounced fee-ma-health), which will allow women to openly discuss or consult a doctor for medical advice online, instantly, about their wellbeing. It’s a virtual online medical consultation, connecting doctors and patients. Although there are challenges ahead with this, it is beautiful to see how I can tweak this product to provide support for potential users – women.”

Morlin states the importance of immediate consultation of doctors when addressing possible symptoms instead of ignoring them, which could then lead to cervical, breast ovarian cancer, further reiterating the phrase “Prevention is better than cure”.

Morlin is currently in the second phase of the development of the Fe’mahealth app, and this comes with assistance of the Kumul Gamechangers (KGC) initiative, which is a project initiated and implemented by the Kumul Foundation.

“I am ambitious and I work hard to ensure there is a certain level of success I achieve. I embrace my failures and learn from them,” says Morlin.

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