People in remote areas of the world still lack the basic access to health due to their geographical location or due to poverty levels. This has made illness conditions and diseases go unnoticed and untreated particularly in Africa where killer diseases like Malaria, diarrhea and pneumonia usually cause death due to late on even lack of treatment for the patients. This has prompted major players across the world to come together and discuss how mobile technology can be incorporated into the health sector and be able to help reduce these shortcomings.
In the annual Skoll World Forum (SWF) there were discussions where social entrepreneurs working on medical technology and directly with local communities discussed ways new technology could help reduce the gap in global health access.
Community Health Workers are the first point of reference in health since they interact most of the time with local communities. These health workers need to be empowered technologically so that they can be able to handle day to day activities and other health engagements. During the attendance was the lead trainer in the Last Mile Health program Magnus Conteh who suggested that CHWs should be empowered since even the poorest people today often have access to mobile phones. Conteh further says:
“Ubiquitous nature of mobile technology provides a powerful tool for extending health care to underserved populations at the last mile”
In this context, CHWs and their supervisors use the mHealth Platform that is hosted on Android smartphones to do patient and health workers interactions and visits. Here the CHWs will be able to also carry out these basic diagnoses like malaria diagnosis and send the results via the app for doctors recommendations on the same. On the other hand, supervisors can be able to track what the CHWs are up to and even track the stock that they have and ensure that vital drugs are in stock all the time.
Mobile technology in health is crucial in that in remote areas it is being used to promote health education since health information and alerts are sent to people in those areas who have mobile devices that support these platforms. This is seen by Seed Global Health organization that engages professionals to serve as health educators who have been sent to different countries in Africa like Liberia, Malawi, Swaziland, Tanzania and Uganda to provide health education.
This mobile health project is being realized in Africa as many countries are incorporating it into their medical sector. This is also supported by Mbindyo who says:
“There are so many different donors, non-profit and governments all really starting to see the value of technology in health, but we need to have a greater harmonization between the tools.”
When ones primary focus becomes that of the well-being of others, only can greatness find its way through you. #Rewordit