Mobile technology and mHealth: The newest frontline in health care innovation in Africa
Mobile technology is upending how healthcare is delivered in Africa. Mobile devices and mobile health (mHealth) services have, for example, revolutionized maternal care, chronic disease prevention, and the management of Ebola and malaria epidemics. Innovations in mHealth have shown to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of African medical systems through patient tracking and reporting, as well as extend critically needed health services to underserved areas, found both in rural and urban African communities.
On March 12, the Center for Technology Innovation at Brookings examined mHealth applications in Africa, with a particular emphasis on mHealth innovations in Nigeria, Liberia and Sierra Leone paying specific attention to child and maternal health. Discussion centered on current implementation in Nigeria and elsewhere, how mobile solutions can serve to improve patient treatment and public health reporting in the developing world, and how communities are using such technologies to provide crucial epidemic treatment information to address health issues such as maternal mortality and epidemic outbreaks. Brookings Vice President Darrell West also presented his findings from a forthcoming paper, “Using Mobile Technology to Improve Maternal Health and Fight Ebola: A Case Study of Mobile Innovation in Nigeria.”