Low-Cost Healthcare Goes High-Tech

A recently released UN report points to cell phones and computers applications as catalysts for changes in healthcare delivery in some countries. One program, Cell-Life, uses text messages to remind mothers in South Africa to give children with HIV antiretrovirals, and informs them about what to expect and how to manage the side effects. Another program, D-Tree, helps aid workers properly treat malnourished children, an important consideration in a country where fully six percent of children are malnourished. These solutions have, the report suggests, the potential to save the lives of thousands of mothers and children worldwide.

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One response to “Low-Cost Healthcare Goes High-Tech

  • jessicarschofield

    Since the article cites that 8 out of every 10 South Africans use cell phones, these projects have amazing potential. Setting aside temporarily issues of spotty cell coverage, I think that these projects, on the whole, would have more success than computer-based programs (such as sending e-mail reminders), which rely both on electricity and the broadband access. Using cell phones for reminders leapfrogs the technology of watches with alarms, but cell phones are far more useful in this case. When administering ARVs there are so many steps, and precise timing is involved. Cell phones would allow for more specific instruction and support that could lead to improved healthcare for children with HIV/AIDS. I believe a similar text-message reminder system is currently being tested by Tulane Medical so assess its effectiveness in helping diabetics manage their blood glucose levels.

    Original Comment by Jennifer Triplett

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