If the thought of going anywhere without your smartphone makes you a little anxious, you’re not alone; many of us consider our cellphone our lifeline. In developing nations, like many countries in Africa where mobile phones represent more than 90% of all telephone lines, mobile technology is providing a real lifeline. For example, mobile technology offers a better way for doctors and health-care providers to connect with those in remote areas as well as a way to promote awareness and encourage the prevention of serious health concerns like AIDs (Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome).
Mobile Technology in Africa
Txt Alert and Medic Mobile are two mobile tools that use SMS (Short Message Service) to better communicate with patients in remote areas. The addition of these tools, not only provided an avenue for increase communication, but all-around better patient care. Here’s how they work:
- TxtAlert sends unique, automated SMS reminders to patients on chronic medication. This mobile technology also allows patients to ping doctors and receive a phone call in return, free of charge. The goals of this tool include (1) decreasing the number of clinic appointments missed and (2) decreasing the number of patients who discontinue medication, and the medication resistance associated with the behavior
- Medic Mobile, on the other hand, allows community members to easily report illnesses, like TB, so that they can be properly treated.
Other mobile technology, like Young Africa Live, is used to spread awareness and help prevent the spread of disease. This mobile portal platform was designed as a space where young people can talk about critical issues affecting their lives, and gain access to resources, programs and tools so “they will choose to live and not die”. The hope is that the platform will provide easy access to education about AIDs and promote HIV testing in an area where this sexually transmitted disease is prevalent.
Mobile Health Apps
Africa isn’t the only place where mobile technology is finding a new role in healthcare. After long-awaited FDA approval, smartphones are now getting more health-related apps and attachments. These new tools could help doctors care for patients outside of traditional medical settings. This could prove especially useful for doctors treating patients in areas devastated by natural disasters, such as hurricanes or tornados, which might not have an operational care facility available.
Mobile, Communication and You
When you break it down, mobile is changing the way we communicate, allowing businesses and organizations to meet consumers where they already are, using technology they’ve come to rely on—mobile phones.
These advancements in mobile are only possible with the coming together of human and technological ingenuity. This union is the key to overcoming problems and optimizing opportunities tailored to a particular situation and client. With both pieces, you have the ability to leverage existing technology in new ways and to develop, influence and evolve it as well.
At Fusion Alliance, we work with leaders in a number of industries to build innovative technology-based solutions like those being used in Africa. Mobile isn’t just about having an app—it’s about meeting consumers where they need you and providing ingenious ways to communicate information.
SOUND OFF: How are you leveraging mobile in your business?