How the cell phone can improve healthcare – CNN.com
Nadim Mahmud says mobile technology can radically transform the way we deliver health care to underserved people in developing countries.
For e.g. in Kurnool, India, where first-year childhood vaccination rates have lingered in the 60th percentile, we worked with a local immunization center to design a mobile-based reminder system for parents. Local health workers enrolled newly pregnant women in our records and took down their cell phone number. Once the system was updated with an infant’s birth date, it would automatically schedule SMS reminders to be sent to the family when it was time for a vaccination. The system also sent periodic educational messages about the importance of complete immunization and the diseases they protected against. After six months of piloting this intervention, we were already seeing dramatic improvements in vaccination rates. Mothers walked into the clinic grinning, baby in one hand, cell phone in the other.