Saturday, June 18, 2011

SIM Mobile App For Health

Medic Mobile just unveiled a new SIM mobile application for healthcare at the Mobile Health Summit in Cape Town. This is not an Iphone app. SIM apps are said to be more accessible to users and can be downloaded onto a variety of mobile phones. Medic Mobile states that they are able to run on 80% of the world's mobile phones. This includes inexpensive cell phones, which are popular in developing countries.

Countries in Africa currently have a 50% mobile user rate, and that number is expected to grow to over 100% in the coming years. This type of affordable and accessible SIM app could prove to be an effective way for people to access health.

Medic Mobiles SIM app is called Kuvela and will be used by Population Services International (PSI). PSI offers programs that target malaria, HIV, reproductive health and child survival. The app is aid to help monitor the quality of access across different districts.

The Kuvela app proves improvement over SMS based text reminders, offers a menu based interface and over the air updating. More apps are also being developed that will allow patients to schedule appointments and access remote consultations. They will also be able to alert clinics during medical emergencies.

Mobile healthcare markets are on the rise. Iphone apps are getting huge press because of the profit potential. However, Medic Mobile is approaching the growing mobile health market in a different way. "We are excited about SIM applications because of the impact potential" not the profit potential, stated CEO John Nesbit. "I can image all eight million global community health workers utilizing SIM apps to support their work and improve the lives of their patients."

-Gabrielle Gurian