inafu6212-001-2012-3



Welcome to the Public Health Group Page!


PUBLIC HEALTH
ABHISHEK BANERJEE apb2140@columbia.edu
KRIS REINHARDT rose.hardt@gmail.com
NEIL MIROCHNICK neilmirochnick@gmail.com
PRIMAH KWAGALA kpn2107@columbia.edu
LE CHEN (Tech coach) klyf66@gmail.com

Table of Contents
EpiSurveyor (Kris)
Mobile Midwife (Abhishek)
ChildCount (Le)
mHealth HIV projects (Neil)
Best Practices for mHealth projects in Uganda (Primah)

Introduction to mhealth Initiatives in Africa----------------
Africa is the world's second-largest and second-most-populous continent. The continent covers six percent of the Earth’s total surface area and 20.4 percent of the total land area. It has about 30.2 million km² (11.7 million sq mi) including adjacent islands, accommodating 1.0 billion people it accounts for about 15% of the world's human population. Healthcare reach which is an ever growing concern in this region especially due to the hostile terrains and limited accessibility in some of the countries in this continent, Africa is up for a great transformation given the leaps in technology. According to the Africa Media Initiative, the number of mobile phones in Africa stands at 650 million (from a mere 4 million in the late 1990s) and is set to reach the 1 billion bar in less than 5 years[1]. Africa is now considered to be the largest market for mobile technology in the world[2].
120913023544-africa-mobile-society-rural-horizontal-large-gallery.jpg
See 7 ways mobile has changed lives in Africa [3] and
See http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xL9tOqpDm6E&feature=player_embedded#t=31s
It is predicted that Mobile communication is set to transform the healthcare industry as the use of mobile technology in health interventions has gained increasing interest in the past few years. The convergence of communications, computing, and media into small hand-held devices, has fuelled another paradigm shift. In the past, we were constrained to take our problems where technology existed. Today mobile devices allow technology to be available where the need arises.
Against this background NGOs, researchers, donors are investing in exploring ways in which mobile technology can be incorporated in health projects. They all consider mHealth to be the future of public health services. There are two dimensions of focus: ‘m’ for mobile phone technology, which is driving these leaps in development, and ‘m’ for the mobility of users of health services.
It should be noted that mHealth apps have the potential to assist patients and care-givers, helping them better understand treatments and subscriptions. While there is great excitement about the boom of the mobile health app space, there are many concerns over whether it will be allowed to grow and whether, someday soon, we’ll be living in a world where helpful and innovative technologies are placed in the hands of those who need it most.
Given the huge prospects of this technological leap in the public health sphere, we have made analysis of existing mhealth initiatives in Africa. We made examinations of case studies for episurveyor a mobile based application for data collection, looked at application and usage of mobile phones for combatting HIV/Aids, use of mobile phones by midwifes to provide pre and ante natal care to mothers, use of mobile applications for child count, and finally made an analysis of best practices in what makes mobile banking successful but is not being applied to mhealth initiatives that are not taking off.
The cost of cell phones has gone down, but Africa still spends by far the highest percentage of GNI on telephones in the world.
Economist - Cell Phones.gif


[1] http://allafrica.com/stories/201211281083.html?viewall=1
[2] http://allafrica.com/stories/201211281083.html?viewall=1
[3] http://www.cnn.com/2012/09/13/world/africa/mobile-phones-change-africa/index.html