As promised, here are a few examples of innovative mhealth applications in Africa from the mHealth Summit last week in DC:
- In Tanzania, D-Tree with Harvard faculty tested eIMCI with significant impact on the sickest kids because full guidelines were followed. Interestingly, patients felt they were getting better care (with use of PDA vs. paper) because clinical officers were referring to a phone/guidlines.
- MoTeCH in Ghana provides pregnancy information for women and their families using $40 phones, and using an open source software Open MRS for their platform. Interestingly, most families preferred getting their information using voicemail rather than text messages (due to literacy rates)
- Operation Asha in India uses fingerprints/biometrics to track TB treatment, sending an SMS if missed doses. Good results and the cost is $3/patient.
- Wired Mothers Project in Zanzibar reported a 4 fold increase in skilled birth attendants present at birth when mobile phones connect midwives.
- In India, lactation consultants providing cell-phone consultations resulted in increased rates of exclusively breast fed infants
With African having 60% penetration of mobile phones (and growing…) and South Africa with 20% penetration of smart phones (compared to 50% in the US) there is certainly a lot of potential for real impact using mhealth.