File this under ‘technology for the people’ – especially people who live in areas with virtually no complex technology. Cell phones are becoming very popular and useful in places like India, Africa and other areas where telephone lines were not draping the landscape for the last 100 years like they are in the good ol’ USA. In fact, more than 60% of Africans are now living in areas with mobile phone coverage. Taking advantage and building on this reality is the ‘Phones-for-Health’ project.
‘The explosive spread of mobile phone networks across the developing world has created a unique opportunity to significantly transform how countries can tackle global health challenges,’ World Health Organisation assistant director-general Howard Zucker said.
Using software loaded on to a standard Motorola phone careworkers can collect patient data into a central database. There was a sucessful project in Rwanda which used these same features. For more details check out How TRACnet Works in Rwanda.
‘With TRACnet, we have a powerful tool to manage the HIV and AIDS programme and deliver care to Rwanda’s patients affected by HIV and AIDS. Health care workers use something as simple as a cellphone – even where there is no electricity – to report on the number of patients on treatment, drug stock levels and the other key data we need,’ said Dr. Agnes Binagwaho, Executive Secretary, Rwanda?s National AIDS Control Commission.
This new $10 million project brings together several Partners
The expectation – and hope – is that this design will be successfully used to combat other infectious diseases, including malaria and tuberculosis that debilitate poor people all over the world.