Ultrasound systems provide life-saving technology, but the equipment can be difficult to come by in parts of the world without access to essential health services.
It’s a realization that hit home for Kelley Evening MBA grad David Trogden, who recently traveled to Haiti with his wife, Casey and an organization called Mission of Hope Haiti. Their goal was to experience firsthand what the healthcare need is in some communities across the world, and to determine how David’s business could help others.
Two years ago, David started Probo Medical from his garage with 200 ultrasound probes.
Probo Medical buys used ultrasound probes, or the little wands used in the ultrasound system. The startup repairs the probes for resale. They also repair probes for individual customer use.
While in Haiti, David and Casey say they met with two doctors on staff at the main clinic on the Mission of Hope’s campus. The doctors there told them, without their ultrasound equipment, they couldn’t diagnose some women with potentially life-threatening conditions.
Realizing the importance of his company’s ultrasound equipment, David enlisted several Evening MBA students in the DIVE (Discovery, Innovation and Ventures Enterprise) program at the Kelley School to review exactly how Probo Medical could make an impact where health infrastructure is lacking.
The DIVE program (now called Corporate Consulting Projects) gives MBA students real-world experience by allowing them to help startups and give ideas to startup founders. It not only helps area businesses with hands-on consulting services, but it gives students experience in the venture world they wouldn’t have otherwise.
DIVE students identified places where Probo Medical could donate, and students created a business plan.
“We started with an idea. We knew we had access to some equipment, and we wanted to make a difference for countries in need,” said David. “It is needed in so many locations.”
Probo Medical’s first donation went to the Otino Waa Children’s Village in Uganda. It will be used primarily to support women’s health via OB/GYN services. From halfway across the world, David and his startup are making a major impact to improve healthcare access.
David says he hopes to make donations on a monthly basis to communities across the globe.
“It’s the least we can do—a way of providing life-saving equipment to areas of the world that wouldn’t have access otherwise,” he explained.