M-Health with Big Data is the new solution for developing world
The possibilities to conduct research with mobile applications are wider. Just imagine how much easier it would be to detect new types of flu or epidemics if people would upload their current health problems in database right when some symptoms occur. Moreover, doctors can respond to the physical complains in a matter of minutes. Eventually, epidemics might be recognized and stopped on early stages preventing further spread.
Here are valuable examples how MHealth utilization that changed the world.
M-Health fought Ebola
Namely, m-Health breakthrough performed in Nigeria helping to fight Ebola. In 2014, during the outbreak, frontline health workers education of how to diagnose and threat the epidemic was essential. The survey conducted on the early stage of Ebola showed that 81% of workers where afraid to work with patients as they were not well-informed about the causes and treatment of the virus. Providing doctors with up-to-date information was challenging, as most of the country’s population is rural. Once the problem was identified, Vecna with Anadach Group launched a mobile application to provide with all the needed information about Ebola. With this application awareness of disease treatment and screening rose dramatically as well as new possibilities of data collecting were opened. With the access to data healthcare workers were able to track the spread of the disease and help to prevent it as well data helped workers in the centre of epidemic. The impact brought by m-Health is remarkable. In early 2015, reports showed that West African Ebola centres were “nearly empty”. The campaign successfully dispelled rumours about virus which health workers were fearful about and provided them which helpful information how to treat Ebola. The same experience was brought to another African countries to fight the illness.
Mobile technologies for
Another major problem of developing countries is maternal care. High rates of maternal and infant mortality in developing countries as 99 percent of all maternal deaths take place there are scarifying. What is worse is that the cause of mothers and infants death is uninformed population and untrained healthcare sector. One of example of successful m-Health innovations are Mobile Midwife and TEXT4BABY, which using mobile phones deliver weekly calls to pregnant women to find out their health conditions, inform expectant mothers about pregnancy and childbirth as a well as to encourage them to seek prenatal care. At the same time, applications provided doctors with information about their patients. For instance, the reminders to visit doctor delivered by the app, improved appointment attendance in Malasia by 40 percent. With Mobile Ultrasound Patrol program in maternal mortality in Morocco is declining. Doctors, especially in the rural areas, are equipped with ultrasound machines and 3G smartphones, which allows not only identifying high-risk pregnancies and reduced the number of at-home births but also cuts reduced the time for diagnosis from two weeks to less than 24 hours.
Increasing the awareness
Nowadays, when mobile devices in developing countries have high level of penetration healthcare utilizes m-Health to increase HIV/AIDS awareness. For example, in South Africa Project Masiluleke’s SMS message campaign promoting HIV/AIDS awareness resulted in nearly a tripling of call volume to a local HIV/AIDS helpline and Text to Change’s SMS-based HIV/AIDS awareness quiz in Uganda led to an increase of nearly 40% in the number of people coming in for free HIV/AIDS testing. M-Health programs all around the world benefit prevention, detection and treatment of diseases.
Using mobile technology to improve maternal health and fight Ebola: A case study of mobile innovation in Nigeria, Darrell M. West, Center for Technology Innovation at Brookings, March 2015
Vital Wave Consulting. mHealth for Development: The Opportunity of Mobile Technology for Healthcare in the Developing World. Washington, D.C. and Berkshire, UK: UN Foundation-Vodafone Foundation Partnership, 2009.
It would be a huge mistake to underestimate the capabilities of mobile applications and Big Data to improve the life quality in developing world. M-Health or usage of mobile devices and application for medical purposes is the direction healthcare is focused on. Investments to this field is expected to increase dramatically in next decade.