Medicine's next big thing: Medic Mobile

Medic Mobile saves lives with a text.
Written by Stacy Lipson, Contributor

Now more than ever, mobile technology is playing a greater role in healthcare. The nonprofit group Medic Mobile has been working in rural communities across the globe to help health workers monitor patients in remote regions.

According to the Medic Mobile website:

"In the developing world, lack of infrastructure prevents health workers from delivering efficient healthcare to rural areas. As health workers travel from clinics to reach isolated patients, they are often as disconnected from central clinics as the patients they are trying to serve. Many gaps and shortcomings of health systems can be addressed using simple, locally appropriate communication technologies. In six months, our pilot in Malawi saved the clinical staff 1200 hours of follow-up time and over $3,000 in motorbike fuel.The SMS network brought home-based care to 130 patients who would not have otherwise received it and over 100 patients started TB treatment after their symptoms were noticed in the community and reported by text-message."

How it works:

  • Patients are directed to use their cell phones to text a hospital number. The text messages are sent through computer software that is directed to medical staff. The staff communicates with the patient by instant message, and if staff deem it necessary, medical support is sent to the patient in need. If follow-up care is needed, the staff directs the patient on how to obtain additional support.

On the Medic Mobile blog, CEO Josh Nesbit writes:

"The numbers from our pilot study in Malawi show impact – 6 months, 2x number of TB patients, 2,100 hours saved, $3,000 in fuel saved, 130 patients visited by health professionals. These results provided a platform to replicate and expand our efforts. Working with thousands of health workers and more than 30 international and local partners, we have now established programs in 70% of Malawi’s districts and implemented projects in 12 additional countries in Africa, Asia, and Latin America. The results have continued – stay tuned for promising new data from our programs, from drug stock monitoring to community-level treatment support and prevention of mother-to-child transmission of HIV."

While further research is needed to determine the efficiency of Medic Mobile, there's no doubt that this text messaging platform may save lives and provide an extra layer of support for patients in need.

via Medic Mobile

Image: via screenshot from Medic Mobile site

This post was originally published on Smartplanet.com

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