How Important Is Text-Based Communication in Global Health Today?

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I used to work at USA-ID 11 years ago and we used to say that only half of the world's population had ever made a phone call. Not on the phone ever made a phone call. So fast forward to where we are today where as you say we don't have land-lines in many cases, we've jumped over pieces and we're giving people information and they're already using it for agriculture even if they're small farmers or they're using it to find out where they get information that they could use whether it's for general purposes or in their family.

So if we're also figuring out a good way to give them health information and it's not just health information when they are sick, it's also health information on whether they clean water, other pieces like that, I think it can make a huge difference. So we have to be really careful of how to use them, similarly people are using phones for counterfeit medicines, we're looking at supply chain, there's a lot of different ways so we can use the device that we haven't even thought of.

If you do a little search, when I do a little mobile help presentation, I have my favorite mobile health slide of how text-based phones or phones were being used, and there was a front-page article in the New York Times on population in Nigeria and it had a picture of a baby that was born and the picture of the baby that was just born was with the light of a mobile phone.

And there was no electricity in for that birth but the mobile phone had enough light. I think there's going to be some of these pieces with mobile phones that we hadn't even thought about yet. And, I'm not talking about remote diagnostics or if you could put it on and get your pulse and things like that, there are people who talk about how it has saved lives with on the high-tech end, but I think the low-tech end is the way we're going to reach the 5, 6 billion people on the planet.