Mobile health technologies are one of the fastest growing, arguably most innovative new platforms that utilize the power of mobile phones. As mentioned before by Jordan Hosmer-Henner on the TechChange blog: “Mobiles have the potential to increase efficiency at nearly every step of health care provision.”
It’s hard not to get excited about the work being done bringing health care into the digital age. Mobiles have the potential to increase efficiency at nearly every step of health care provision. These efficiencies aren’t hypothesized—waiting to develop given improvements in technology or infrastructure—they’re being realized right now in clinics and health systems around the world.
Imagine two clinics in rural areas, Community Health Workers (CHW) in one are overburdened searching through paper records to identify previous drug treatment regimens, unable to confirm children with diarrhea are receiving oral re-hydration salts, travelling hours carrying blood samples and results back and forth from the nearest hospital where tests can be preformed.
We’re going to continue to look at emerging mobile health applications this week. While last time the focus was on promising technologies on the horizon, these projects share an approach that maximizes the impact of what’s already available—in most places that means sending an SMS. The low cost and high penetration of mobiles make them an incredibly powerful platform for promoting health. In these examples, mobiles are used to expand public health education and improve patient monitoring.