In order to provide suitable health facilities for women and children in rural areas Ford along with a number of public and private organizations helped to develop SUMURR. SUMURR stands for Sustainable Urban Mobility with uncompromised Rural Research and is designed to spread awareness among women on topics like childbirth and child healthcare. Through this program a Ford Endeavour SUV was used to reach out to about 3,100 individuals in 54 villages that were far away from basic medical health facilities. Use of the SUV which has been equipped with suitable technologies to overcome harsh realities of geographical regions helped women to overcome barriers that prevented them from accessing health facilities in their time of need.
41 pregnant women benefitted from this program as they were able to reach health facilities in time to give birth. This program was initiated in June 2012 and concluded in February 2013. The program enabled agencies to set up temporary gynecology and health care camps in villages to provide women and children with much needed health care facilities. Using an open source platform OpenXC a cloud based service housed in the Ford Endeavour was used to store information pertaining to patients and seamlessly transmit the same when the need arised to nurses and doctors in the hospital. This helped to improve communication of symptoms of a mother in distress to hospital authorities while she was en route.
The program was a success as organizations like US Department for State, George Washington University, University of Michigan, IIT Madras Rural technology and Business Incubator, Department of Health (Tamil Nadu), IIT Madras and Hand in Hand India helped to design, develop and emphasize need for healthcare facilities for people living in rural areas of India.
David Berdish, manager of Social Sustainability said, “Ford is acting as an agent of change for a better world by forging innovative public-private partnerships with government, academic institutions, nonprofit stakeholders and company resources to support positive social advancement.” He added, “Ford Motor Company is not in the business of telemedicine, but between the vehicle and the technology we provide, we can make it better.”