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   Mobile Phones for Keeping Track of HIV and TB
Created Date: 8/13/2008 6:04:19 AM
Country: Somalia
Focus: Electronic and Mobile Government, Internet Governance
Status: In use
License: Open Source
Product Type: Software - Mobile
Target Users: Patients
Developer Name: Cell-Life
Product Url: http://www.cell-life.org/
System Requirements: Mobile Phones
Description: South African researchers have developed novel applications for mobile phone technology that improves adherence to HIV and TB treatments. These approaches have obvious benefits for the patients as well as helping to improve the health infrastructure and monitoring systems.
 
The Cell-Life project, backed by local mobile phone giant Vodacom, has developed software and data management systems that let clinic workers use their mobile phones to monitor patients'' HIV treatment and spot health problems before they become life-threatening. The phones are loaded with R55 (US$8.50) in airtime each month and equipped with a special menu that enables HIV counselors to record data on a patient''s symptoms and whether they are sticking to drug regimes, as well as other factors that might affect their health — such as a lack of money to pay for transport to the clinic, or a shortage of food. The information collected is instantly relayed over Vodacom''s network to a central database, which clinic staff can access over a secure Internet connection. Cell-Life has just completed successful pilot projects in townships in Cape Town and Durban, in which about 80 counselors were trained to use the mobile phones and keep track of nearly 800 patients. There are plans to expand the project''s reach into other provinces, and to develop ''reverse billing'' software that will enable the clinic to be charged instead of the counselors using the mobile phones. They could then contact clinic staff in an emergency even if they had no airtime left — a measure that could save lives in communities with few fixed-line phones.



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