The United Nations, Vodafone (NYSE: VOD), and the Rockefeller Foundation’s mHealth Alliance has banded together with the intention of unitin…

The United Nations, Vodafone (NYSE: VOD), and the Rockefeller Foundation’s mHealth Alliance has banded together with the intention of uniting existing mobile health projects, aiming to guide governments, NGOs and mobile firms on how they can save lives in the developing world. UN/Vodafone Foundation Partnership head Claire Thwaites said that the alliance is “looking at scaling up and bringing governments together with NGOs and corporations, and it will commission pretty rigorous research on what the market opportunity is for mHealth, answering the question: why should a business get involved in this area?” reports the BBC. Showing a value proposition to network operators could bring together individual, small-scale efforts into something larger. It not just phones, either: “In South Africa, the SIMpill project integrated a sensor-equipped medicine bottle with a SIM card, ensuring that healthcare workers were advised if patients were not taking their tuberculosis medicine…The percentages of people keeping up with their medicine rocketed from 22 percent to 90 percent.”

Another big problem is finance, which is being tackled by the GSMA and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. The Mobile Money for the Unbanked (MMU) will start with a $12.5 million grant from the foundation and work with mobile operators, banks, microfinance institutions, government and development organizations to encourage the expansion of reliable, affordable mobile financial services to the unbanked. The main target is the billlion or so people in emerging markets who have a mobile phone but not a bank account. The programme includes $5 million to “catalyse a new wave of mobile money innovation, encouraging mobile network operators to create new services for previously unbanked people in emerging markets”. About 20 projects will be supported, focusing on Africa, Asia and Latin America with the goal of reaching 20 million previously unbanked people by 2012. (release)

  1. This is a good idea and we should try to embrace it in africa.

  2. The SIMpill product improves medication adherence because it provides the caregiver a tool to monitor non-compliance and take action in real-time. Our product the Pill Phone mobile interactive healthcare application compliments the SIMpill by providing personalized medication reminders, medication health literacy information, and tracks their compliance on a (MAR) Medication Administration Record that can be shared with physicians and caregivers. The Pill Phone application also acts as a Personal Supply Chain Management system to easily replenish medication before the user runs out. The Pill Phone app is deployed on AT&T Mobility, Verizon Wireless, and Sprint. The Pill Phone is the only interactive app that has FDA 510 (k) clearance for medication management. The pill bottle & pill phone app supports polypharmacy patients in managing all medications and would generate valuable data that benefits all stakeholders.

  3. I actually have some personal experience with The Pill Phone mobile application that I am getting through Verizon Wireless. It has been most helpful in helping me remember to take the many medications that I have to take on an ongoing basis. Additionally, The Pill Phone has a custom feature that allows you to set health and wellness reminders (drink water, take nutritional suppliments, exercise, etc.). I have found it to be a very simple to use, elegant solution. What better way is there to be reminded to take your medications than the cell phone that's in your pocket? Many thanks to the people that invented The Pill Phone. Great stuff!!

    Scott Garner
    Toledo, OH


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