9 December 2011
Missed the Webinar?
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Mobile technology is transforming the face of health care in low-income communities around the globe. A driving force behind this change is new and innovative business models that harness mobile technology to decrease the cost of care and create new applications that improve health care outcomes. On December 8, the Business Call to Action (BCtA) brought together Jonathan Jackson, CEO of Dimagi, and Mohamed Haider, Vice President of Sales at Sproxil, for a webinar discussion about how inclusive business models are helping to promote better health care in the developing world.
Jonathan Jackson opened the webinar by presenting on Dimagi's efforts to promote a mobile-phone based application that boosts rural health workers abilities to collect data and monitor patient care in rural Indian markets, where up to 70 percent of the population lack access to basic health services.
In these markets, community health programs help to bring basic levels of care to areas that lack access to health clinics or hospitals. The problem with these programs, says Jonathan Jackson of Dimagi, is that it is difficult to scale up the health impacts that community health programs have been proven to have in research studies.
The Massachusetts-based tech firm developed CommCare in response to this challenge. CommCare is an open source mobile application that helps community health workers store and access patient information and monitor at-risk patients with its simple-to-use registration forms, surveillance questions and health prompts.
The company plans to make this application available to over 70,000 community health workers in India over the next three years. Watch Jonathan Jackson's presentation.
While Dimagi seeks to promote access to better health care, Sproxil is providing low-income communities with an effective tool to combat the lucrative but dangerous counterfeit drug trade that is so prevalent in the developing world.
The main juncture where the counterfeit manufacturing is produced, is in the distribution channels and this is where the trade of counterfeit products needs to be arrested, said Mohamed Haider of Sproxil. That is where we come in.
Each year, an estimated 700,000 people die because of fake malaria and TB medication. To help consumers determine if their medication is real, Sproxil has developed a mobile application that quickly and accurately verifies if a medicine is genuine.
The process is simple, consumers and patients purchasing medication simply text a simple numeric code placed on the drugs. In response, consumers gets a SMS indicating whether the medication is 'Ok' or 'Fake'.
In Nigeria, Sproxil's codes have already been used on over 1.4 million blister packs with thousands of users signing up every month. See Mohamed Haider's presentation.
Amanda Gardiner, Acting Programme Manager of the BCtA, closed the webinar with questions about future trends and opportunities for inclusive business in mHealth and solicited feedback about how donors and others could create an enabling environment to ensure the success of mHealth solutions.