In 2017, the world passed the 50% mark in the number of people in the world who have access to the internet. It’s easy to take for granted the fact that within the Wikimedia movement, most people have easy access to the internet, but this is still not the case for many people.
To address this lack of access to Wikipedia, groups like KiWix have been working on creating offline versions of Wikipedia for some time, and the Human Rights Foundation have been smuggling USB drives with Korean Wikipedia into North Korea for a few years now. Now a new project is addressing the lack of access to medical information.
The Offline Distribution System for Medical Content is a collaboration with Internet-in-a-box. They have created mini raspberry pi-based computers which generate a wifi signal that up to 32 people can connect to at any time. It also functions as an app store where you can download and install offline Wikipedia medical apps.
This initial version contains all of Wikipedia’s healthcare content in English, Spanish, and Arabic. It also contains WikEM, content from Practical Action in English and Spanish, and HealthPhone videos.
The device is being sold for the costs of the hardware plus shipping (£30 / $40).
James Heilman, MD, a special adviser to the project, said in a press release: “We believe this device has a significant potential to benefit the more than 4 billion people globally without reliable Internet access. We are working to develop further versions with other languages and types of content. If you would like to join in this effort or wish to know more please reach out.”
To see an online example:
For how to purchase:
For how to make your own: