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Can Mobile Phones Improve Health In Developing Countries?

Screen-shot-2010-11-05-at-10.16.57-AM.pngThe potential of mobile phones to improve health is most acutely visible in developing countries. iMedicalApps covered the recent mHealth Summit, where there were many inspiring demonstrations of how voice and simple text messages can have a profound effect on the health of those countries’ citizens. Jhpiego has successfully worked on these problems for three decades and was recently awarded a $100m grant. James Bon Tempo has extensive experience in this field and we are thrilled that he is sharing his insights with the readers of iMedicalApps.

This is a guest post from James BonTempo.


Mobile Health In Developing Countries

I am a user and an implementer of technology, not an inventor or developer, so my constraints, challenges and requirements are different than those of many attendees of the recent mHealth Summit. And for others like me who work in international aid and development, mobile technology is simply a tool, and one of many in a large toolbox that includes various best practices and proven approaches. At Jhpiego (an affiliate of Johns Hopkins University), we have piloted a number of different mobile interventions — from simple SMS to Java & smartphone-based applications — but the challenge for us is to identify the most appropriate technologies, the tools that will help us to strengthen health systems in limited resource settings most effectively and most efficiently. Read more »

*This blog post was originally published at iMedicalApps*

Bill Gates At mHealth: How Mobile Health Can Improve Healthcare

bill gates.jpg[We reported last week from the mHealth Summit in Washington, DC -- a conference covering the integration of mobile technologies with medical research, information, diagnosis, treatment, and care.]

One of the highlights of last week’s mHealth Summit was the keynote interview of Bill Gates. While inseparable from his history as founder and leader of Microsoft from 1975 to 2008, his current passion is global health.

Through the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, which has now given 3.8 billion (with a “b”) of targeted philanthropy into global health since 1994, he and his wife Melinda are helping bring about profound change to the lives of millions around the world. In a meeting dedicated to exploring the power of mobile devices to shape health in developed and developing countries, Bill Gates eloquently refocussed our attention towards the real urgency of saving the millions of our fellow humans who die needlessly for want of vaccinations or the simplest treatments. Read more »

*This blog post was originally published at iMedicalApps*

An App To Self-Test For STDs?

A new £5.7 million project being led by St. George’s-University of London is developing self-test devices that can plug directly into mobile phones and computers, immediately identifying sexually transmitted diseases (STDs).

The project is called eSTI — electronic self-testing instruments for sexually transmitted infections (STIs) — and is being led by Dr. Tariq Sadiq, senior lecturer and consultant physician in sexual health and HIV at St George’s-University of London. Most of the funding is coming from The Medical Research Council and the UK Clinical Research Collaboration.

The UK has seen a 36 percent rise in STIs from 2000 to 2009 — often blamed on the reluctance of the population to get diagnosed and the stigma of going to public health clinics — prompting the support of this project. Read more »

*This blog post was originally published at iMedicalApps*

New Survey: 1 In 10 Cell Phone Users Have Health Or Medical Apps

A new survey from the Pew Internet & American Life Project shows how the proliferation of smart mobile devices is causing a shift in the way users are accessing data and information on health.

Some of the most interesting findings are related to the substantial number of users who actually have applications that help them manage and track their health. Some key findings from the survey:

*17 percent of cell owners have used their phone to look up health or medical information on the Internet; 29 percent of cell owners ages 18 to 29 have done such searches.

*9 percent of cell phone owners have apps they use to help track and manage health.

*The heaviest use of health or medical related apps was by young adults: About 15 percent of those ages 18 to 29 have such apps, compared to 8 percent of cell users ages 30 to 49. Read more »

*This blog post was originally published at iMedicalApps*

Doximity: The Private Facebook For Doctors

home page.PNGDoximity is an app that launched on the App Store just over a week ago and has the potential to significantly change the way physicians use their smartphones.

The main focus of the app is physician communication, and for this it incorporates an innovative, secure SMS-like text service. But its real power lies in its deep incorporation of multiple databases of physician and related information.

In particular, the makers of the app carefully integrated data from the physician NPI and Medicare databases as well as lists of medical schools, hospitals, imaging centers and pharmacies. What they’ve produced is a surprisingly refined version 1 product that can quickly answer the myriad of small, practice-related questions that pop up all day long during a busy schedule. Read more »

*This blog post was originally published at iMedicalApps*

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