IUPUI alum helping provide medical equipment to developing nations

(WISH Photo/Laura Kennedy)

FISHERS, Ind. (WISH) — Ultrasound machines can be life-saving tools for a wide range of medical issues, but they’re very expensive. The cost often means people in third world countries don’t have access to the technology.

But one local entrepreneur and owner of Probo Medical is working with Indiana University Purdue University Indianapolis students to find a solution. It’s a win-win partnership between the Fishers business owner and the IU Kelley School of Business students.

It started with an eye-opening visit to Haiti this year for owner David Trogden.

“We got to see first hand what healthcare in a third world country looks like,” Probo Medical President David Trogden said.

In Haiti, he heard stories of ultrasound machines detecting an often fatal pregnancy abnormality in women.

“They’d literally caught dozens of ectopic pregnancies over the course of time with their one ultrasound machine, that if they didn’t have, those mothers may not have made it,” he said.

Trogden quickly realized just how much of an impact these machines can make in those countries.

“For them, the ultrasound machine was the most advanced diagnostic tool that they had in the entire clinic,” he said.

At his company, technicians give used ultrasound machines new life by refurbishing the equipment.

After visiting Haiti, he wanted to use his resources to give back.

“The idea was to donate some of the ultrasound equipment that we had a supply of,” he said.

To figure out logistics, the Kelley School of Business alum turned to his former MBA program and professor Todd Saxton.

“How would you actually go about implementing in a way that is sustainable?” IU Kelley School of Business Indianapolis Associate Professor of Strategy and Entrepreneurship Todd Saxton said.

“The students in the MBA program effectively wrote the business plan for making that a reality,” Trogden said.

Students put their heads together and found a way to get ultrasound machines into third world countries.

“This was a very influential learning exercise for them at putting together the pieces that would make a sustainable partnership that could really do some good,” Saxton said.

Students worked together to find non-profit partners and the company has already sent one ultrasound machine to Uganda.

Trogden wants to continue expanding the program in the future.

He hopes to start donating five machines each month to various countries.

For more information visit http://www.probomedical.com

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