Challenge

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Using Mobile Tech to Improve Health in Remote or Rural Communities

The proliferation of mobile devices throughout the world, and particularly in low-income countries and rural areas, is providing opportunities to create mobile applications that deliver health and information services to people living in poverty.
46M
People Impacted
$ 1.7T
Potential Funding
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the problem
Nature and Context

Many of the applications for health care reminders or aid focus on SMS, a low-cost communication channel that is supported on even the most basic mobile phones. However, the majority of existing SMS-based health applications use one-way ‘push’ messaging, in which generic messages are sent to large numbers of users who have no way to respond or they enable two-way communication between users and a server by requiring that users submit highly-structured messages that can be automatically parsed by the server. Although many SMS-based services would prefer to provide patients with personal attention that takes into account their specific context, they usually employ a small number of health workers who have limited amounts of time to engage in direct communication with individual users. This suggests a need for new approaches that increase the capacity of health workers and allow them to communicate effectively with a larger number of patients.

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