Intersection of health, finance and telecoms

Africa suffers more than 24% of the global burden of disease but has access to only 3% of health workers. With the fast growth in mobile penetration rates in Africa, NGOs, Donor Agencies, healthcare providers and governments are focussing on the evolving use of communication technologies within the healthcare community in Africa.

mHealth programmes are evolving to provide healthcare services to even the most remote communities throughout Africa. Mobile Health Africa will bring together key pioneers of the mHealth evolution in Africa, from donor agencies to NGOs and governments, and technology providers to MNOs, to establish how to evolve the mHealth industry from pilots to successful live deployments that deliver cost effective and measurable results.

In Africa, many people access financial services through mobile phones (without the need for a bank account). Some health services can be provided this way, too. Combine this with telecoms and you have the potential to provide mobile health solutions – mHealth.  Even the poorest people can access mobile phones, by ‘renting’ them from roadside vendors, to make a call for tiny fees.

It seems to me that CSC has expertise in all three areas. Is anyone aware of any activity looking at how we could provision solutions for mHealth in Africa? I have recently been invited to such a conference, with sponsors such as HP, IBM, Vodaphone and Deloitte. Payers are NGO’s, donor agencies and governments. This looks like a potential opportunity for CSC, and is especially appealing from a corporate/social responsibility perspective.

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