M-health services unveiled across Sub-Saharan Africa
Johannesburg, July 1, 2014
GSMA’s Mobile for Development m-health programme has launched a new cross-ecosystem partnership designed to provide a range of m-health services to women and children, with a particular focus on nutrition, across Sub-Saharan Africa.
The initial launch partners for the initiative include Gemalto, Hello Doctor, Lifesaver, Mobenzi, Mobilium, MTN, Omega Diagnostics and Samsung, said a statement.
Tom Phillips, chief regulatory officer, GSMA, said: “This new mobile ecosystem partnership, developed by the GSMA, is committed to connecting the mobile and health industries to develop commercially sustainable m-health services that meet public health needs.
“The companies in this partnership are working to deliver the objectives of the United Nations Every Women Every Child Global Strategy, as well as the Global Nutrition for Growth Compact, in the areas of nutrition and maternal and child health. We call on mobile ecosystem players, health providers, governments, NGOs, civil society and others to work with us to launch life-saving mobile health services.”
The partners are set to jointly launch services in seven countries Côte d’Ivoire, Ghana, Nigeria, Rwanda, South Africa, Uganda and Zambia, from September.
The phase two, which will commence in 2015, will incorporate additional partners and services and will address four more countries: Kenya, Malawi, Mozambique and Tanzania.
The partnership will reduce barriers to handset ownership and connectivity for consumers and health workers by committing to offer discounted Samsung handsets and tablets to consumers and health workers across Africa; provide access to the Samsung ecosystem to be used as an incentive to drive health usage; pre-embed a smart health application that provides a range of professional applications, information and services on 80 million Samsung handsets; leverage existing and new MTN Sims to allow free access to health content, health registration and data collection via the Smart Health application; provide simplified access to MTN mobile money, advertising and billing capabilities; and make innovative diagnostics like the Omega Diagnostics Visitect HIV CD4 point of care solution more affordable and accessible via mobile integration.
The partners aim at simplifying the relationships between mobile and health stakeholders through these commitments, while maximising the ubiquitous nature of mobile technology and its capabilities for health providers and, ultimately, for patients.
The health content, patient registration, data collection and critical diagnostics will increase the access to health care for vulnerable women and children across Africa, while providing the delivery mechanism for m-health services that are commercially sustainable and scalable.
Thabiet Allie, head of content and services at Samsung Electronics Africa, said: “Healthcare in Africa has benefited greatly from advancements in mobile technology. Simultaneously, the healthcare industry is moving towards a delivery model that is more patient-centered, value-based and accessible in even remote environments.
“In this regard, Samsung is perfectly positioned to add value to this digital evolution in healthcare, as our devices are both at the cutting edge of innovation and available widely across the continent. These capabilities provide the much needed healthcare support in Africa, ensuring that we are aligned with the Millennium Development Goals as set by the United Nations.” - TradeArabia News Service