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Inspiration

Thanks for the wonderful inspirations! Our maternal health challenge is now in the Concepting phase. This is where we ask the community to submit fresh ideas in response to the question: How might we improve maternal health with mobile technology in low-income countries?

Contribution list

In developing countries, 80% of all premature and low-birth-weight infants are born far away form hospitals and traditional incubators. In the US, an infant incubator costs $20,000. But what if we could rethink the problem and provide the world's poor with incubators for under $30 each? Stanford's "Entrepreneurial Design for Extreme Affordability" students took up the challenge.

Pratt Design Incubator collaborated to create tools to train and support a new strata of local health care workers in 72 villages in Africa and Asia. CHWs will be trained and equipped to perform 70% of necessary services through household visits - shown to be the most effective means for reducing infant mortality. These visual guides could be translated into mobile versions.

Many of the inspirations are about new technologies. This is fine, but it makes the diffusion of any concepts harder than if the innovation was able to work on existing infrastructure. So I asked the question: what phones do they have already? The answer: ones like a Nokia 1100.

Text in the City is an innovative text messaging service for youth 10-24 years of age attending Mount Sinai Adolescent Health Center in New York City. This clinic is a non-profit clinic providing health care to underprivileged youth largely from the South Bronx and East Harlem. However patients come from far afield as care is free of charge and confidential. Text in the City is a text messaging program which allows youth to feel more connected to their 'health home' and to receive reliable, trustworthy and personalized health information and education from a health care provider.

This health care initiative is a web-based (and mobile) patient communication system, practice management tool and electronic health record all wrapped up in one solution. It’s free to implement for qualified practices, easy-to-use and rewarding for physicians and patients.

Information is constantly distributed to the masses through centralized means; whether it is an airport kiosk, arrival/departure sign, stock tickers, scoreboards, etc. There could be situations in low-income countries where it is very difficult or not possible to equip each individual with a mobile device that can transmit maternal care information. In such situations, a more centralized method to info transmission may be more appropriate.

Facebook has been a form of communication for years and probably will be for many more, What we are overlooking is that it isn't just at gateway for communication. It is a gateway to the world you can use it to speak and visit so to speak any place in the world with a computer. Utilizing it though to its full potential is more difficult of a task than just existing as a user. So if we want to spread the world to a large population then the 6 million plus people on facebook would be the place to do it.

"The best tools in the world don’t make a bit of difference if they don’t get out to where they’re needed." Nils Daulaire - Former CEO and President, Global Health Council. This is an amazing solution to dealing with health logistics problem. This organization "Riders for Health" trains health workers (as doctors, nurses etc) to hide and repair motorcycles and four-wheeled vehicles. This assures that health workers have trustful transportation to reach remote areas. The health workers are trained to repair each moth their vehicles and it never breakedown.

"We're using music because the young people are the future. They need to understand that they are not alone," Sister Fa told the Observer from Dakar, where she is on a tour called "Education Against Mutilation". Other cultural ambassadors are performing similar journeys.

I'm thinking of Aravind’s „eye camps“ in India, which are a great example how to bring health care service to rural India. The same concept can be applied to improve maternal health in remote areas. Aravind’s eye clinic provides basic tools for diagnosis as well as advanced satellite-linked telemedicine trucks that travel regularly to remote locations, perform eye exams, teach eye care and identify people who may require surgery. Using the telemedicine trucks, the doctors back in Aravind’s hospitals participate in decisions and make diagnosis when needed. Similarly “Mom-To-Be Camps” can be organized periodically, where women could be registered, examined, re-examined, taught about pregnancy and birth. If required they could be sent for advanced diagnostic services to the nearest hospitals.

The evolution of mobile technology is redefining "point of care" in healthcare. Now literally, healthcare providers can provide health services on the go. Today (February 3, 2011), Mobisante announced that they won FDA clearance to start selling their MobiUS ultrasound system to US healthcare professionals.

The innovativeness of this approach is that it helps overcome the challenges of disease tracking and patient referral in settings where medical records and referral systems do not exist. The RFID bracelet provides unique identification, allowing health workers to verify identity and view basic medical records, and respond to emergencies quickly

Scientific study investigates impact on health of mothers and neonates connected to health care units through mobile phones.

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