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Medic Mobile

Extending healthcare using simple mobile technology.

Project URL: medicmobile.org
Project Twitter: @Medic

Organisation Twitter: @medic

  • Health
  • Social Exclusion
  • Data
  • Internet
  • Mobile

A good idea can have many iterations as it spreads and adapts to different contexts. That is how Medic Mobile grew from a service to connect hospitals to rural community health workers, into a platform that can be deployed to connect thousands of people in need of help in the wake of a natural disaster.

Medic Mobile started with humble beginnings in rural Malawi in the summer of 2007, with community health workers like Dickson Mtanga, a subsistence farmer, whose job it was to periodically walk 35 miles to gather and submit hand-written reports on 25 HIV-positive patients in his community.

Those reports were then sent by post to the main hospital in the region, which served 250,000 people in a 100-mile radius. The hospital relied on people like Dickson to be its front line. The system was costly, time consuming and ineffective: there was no way to alert the hospital to arrange timely treatment.

By using SMS technology and electronic records, health workers are now able to communicate, coordinate patient care, and provide diagnostics. The underlying FrontlineSMS FrontlineSMS technology, an inspiring social innovation in its own right, enables users to connect a range of mobile devices to a computer, to send and receive SMS text messages. The software works without an internet connection by connecting a device such as a cell phone or GSM modem with a local phone number.

By using simple mobile technology Medic Mobile is able to bridge huge gaps in healthcare delivery in the developing world; treating patients more effectively and enabling the health provider to extend services to people who would otherwise not have received care.

Image courtesy of Medic Mobile

Last updated: 09th of May, 2014

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