Health-Tech Gadgets: Healthcare Texting


One of the problems facing people in poorer countries is the unavailability of doctors and healthcare units. Many people live in rural areas with no facilities nor access to healthcare for emergency cases. This is why a company, the “Medic Mobile”, is trying to change this by applying a simple method to provide those in need with the care they deserve.

Medic Mobile was an initiative started by students who had volunteered in a hospital in Malawi. They started using a free software application called “FrontlineSMS” to coordinate community health workers at St Gabriel’s Hospital.

Those students were not doctors, but they wanted to improve healthcare. They figured that, by using simple tools, such as mobiles that people already own, they could boost those people's chances of having better access to health care, and improving their quality of life. They connect people with health workers; through texting, doctors can figure out if the symptoms a patient has needs hospitalization or not.

Hence, in a remote village where a patient would have previously suffered in silence and passed away, now a health worker could reach them with the needed medicine, or they could be transported to the nearest hospital. It is also a way for doctors to keep track of how their patients are doing; thus lowering the risk of a relapse going untreated.

This idea has taken root in more than thirty organizations that are applying this technology to improve health services in more than fifteen countries. For example, in remote villages in Nepal, where pregnant women had no access to healthcare, through Medic Mobile technology, they are able to contact doctors, and those who have high risk pregnancies can have easier access to healthcare, lowering their chances of complications.


*The article was first published in print in SCIplanetSpring 2018 Issue "Science at Work".

Cover Image by Freepik.

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