Tag: mhealth

Mobile health improves Africa’s access to quality healthcare

A software kit developed by Medic Mobile can be used in any type of environment to support healthcare.

Mobile Health (mHealth) provided by Medic Mobile is improving healthcare accessibility and quality in Africa. Using VMware, the American non-profit technology company, specializing in mHealth, developed a special software toolkit. This toolkit can be used in just about any environment and supports any language. It also functions with internet connectivity and without it, in the cloud or locally.

The software toolkit is giving African’s access to quality healthcare in the remotest parts of the continent.

The web and mobile tools work on a basic cellular phone. The software is giving health workers the ability to track disease outbreaks, register pregnancies, communicate emergencies, communicate with patients and keep stock of medicines.

Mobile Health Improves HealthcareThe Medic Mobile solution is Linux-based and is made possible through a mobile network virtualized by VMware, running on VMware Player. The toolkit enables healthcare workers to gather and transmit patient data wirelessly via basic cell phones to the central clinic. This significantly cuts down on travel time and cost while making the delivery of quality healthcare better.

Medic Mobile CEO Josh Nesbit stated that the organization’s vision “is that the things that we know save lives should be made accessible to everybody, no matter where they are, no matter how much money they make, no matter to what social group they belong. The vision is global health equality.”

Since the mobile health technology has been implemented, healthcare has improved in Africa.

For instance, in Uganda, infant mortality rates continue to decrease every year. One of the major reasons for this is community health workers can provide better care. They can register pregnancies through a simple text message to the Medic Mobile system. They can provide details including the patient’s name, estimated due date and risk factors. A patient ID is automatically generated by the system and sends automated reminders to both health workers and patients, regarding scheduled appointments. If the appointment is missed by the patient, the system will notify the health worker to followup with the patient.

Presently, over 9,000 healthcare workers are using mobile health tools from Medic Mobile to aid over five million people in 23 developing countries. Using these tools, the healthcare workers are achieving solid results.

The FDA sees potential in wearable technology use

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is looking at a new wave of wearables that can monitor serious illnesses.

While fitness trackers such as the popular Fitbit and Jawbone gadgets, there is a new form of wearable technology making its way into the marketplace and in this case, it will be necessary for FDA approval to be issued in order to be able to sell them in the United States.

That said, the FDA is looking forward to the opportunity to find certain wearables that work for medical purposes.

The first waves of these wearable technology devices are going to be heading to market soon, after extensive time in the lab in which they have been developed and extensively tested in order to meet the requirements of the FDA. These gadgets have been created in order to detect, monitor and track serious diseases in their wearers. This could help to enhance and broaden access to high quality health care and could create a new industry worth tens of billions of dollars.

This new wearable technology business opportunity could be very helpful for patients with diabetes, epilepsy and other illnesses.

Wearable Technology - FDAThe FDA is already getting itself ready to handle the anticipated influx of mobile health gadgets that are hoping to be released pending its approval. According to the associate director for digital health with the agency, Bakul Patel, the FDA is already in the process of reviewing three new applications for senior health scientist positions that will have a focus on that specific category.

Despite the fact that the FDA has been called a barrier to innovation by certain entrepreneurs in the tech industry, the agency is hoping to alter that reputation and to become an important partner in the effort to ensure that devices can be developed that will be genuinely helpful in improving the health and quality of life of medical patients. It is also keen to encourage health insurance companies to start covering devices that receive official approval.

After all, patients, doctors, insurance companies and tech developers, alike, want to know that there is actual clinical benefit to a wearable technology device before it is released to market along with a slew of promises.