More mHealth services coming to sub-Saharan Africa
July 4, 2014
According to IT News Africa, GSMA has announced the launch of its new cross-ecosystem partnership. It aims to provide a range of mHealth services to women and children across Sub-Saharan Africa. The initial launch partners include Gemalto, Hello Doctor, Lifesaver, Mobenzi, Mobilium, MTN, Omega Diagnostics and Samsung.
In September 2014, services will be launched in seven countries. They are Côte d’Ivoire, Ghana, Nigeria, Rwanda, South Africa, Uganda and Zambia. Phase two starts in 2015. It incorporates more partners and services and four more countries: Kenya, Malawi, Mozambique and Tanzania.
Tom Phillips, Chief Regulatory Officer for GSMA said, “This new mobile ecosystem partnership is committed to connecting the mobile and health industries to develop commercially sustainable mHealth services that meet public health needs.”
The partnership aims to reduce barriers to handset owners and improve connectivity for consumers and health workers by:
- Offering discounted Samsung handsets and tablets to consumers and health workers across Africa
- Providing access to Samsung’s ecosystem, such as music, video and other value-added services as an incentive to drive health usage
- Pre-embeding a Smart Health application with a range of professional applications, information and services on 80 million Samsung handsets
- Leveraging existing and new MTN SIMs to allow free access to health content, health registration and data collection with the Smart Health application
- Providing simpler access to MTN mobile money, advertising and billing capabilities
- Making innovative diagnostics, like the Omega Diagnostics Visitect HIV CD4 gene solution, more affordable and accessible with mobiles.
Health content, patient registration, data collection and critical diagnostics will increase the access to healthcare for vulnerable women and children across Africa. It also aims to provide a delivery mechanism for mHealth services that are commercially sustainable and scalable.
“Healthcare in Africa has benefited greatly from advancements in mobile technology. Simultaneously, the healthcare industry is moving towards a delivery model that is more patient-centered, value-based and accessible in even remote environments,” said Thabiet Allie, Head of Content and Services at Samsung Electronics Africa. “Samsung is perfectly positioned to add value to this digital evolution in healthcare, as our devices are both at the cutting edge of innovation and available widely across the continent.”
eHNA is looking forward to seeing the results of the monitoring and evaluation to show the net benefits and the options for expansion.