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Mobile Technologies Improving Health Care Worldwide

Mobile phones and other SMS-based platforms are being used to improve health care systems worldwide and have “opened the gateway to establishing emergency triage systems, sending medication adherence reminders, enabling home-based antenatal care, tracking community immunization and dispatching mass announcements detailing satellite clinic schedules and locations,” Nadim Mahmud, co-founder of Medic Mobile, writes in a CNN opinion piece. “While I am focused on helping people in the developing countries, I am keenly aware that mobile health care innovations also impact people close to home,” he says.

“Mobile health development in the United States means innovating with the newest technologies, from diabetes management apps to miniature diagnostic devices, all aiming to capitalize on the potential of the latest tablets and smartphones,” Mahmud writes, adding, “Interestingly, U.S.-based mobile health care innovations can serve as testing beds for tools that will likely be deployed in Africa, Central and South America, or Southeast Asia in the coming years.” He continues, “And many SMS-based innovations gaining prominence abroad might return to the developed world as cost-effective methods of addressing fundamental problems in our overburdened health care system” (9/29).

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Filling the need for trusted information on national health issues, the Kaiser Family Foundation is a nonprofit organization based in Menlo Park, California.