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Mobile phones aid healthcare innovations in Africa


The US Agency for International Development (USAID) and Orange have partnered to develop innovations in mobile health (mHealth), CNBC Africa has reported.
Ariel Pablos-Méndez, USAID’s assistant administrator for global health, said partnering with companies such as, telecommunications operator, Orange will allow them to have a larger cost-effective impact on the continent.
“With the increasing use and decreasing cost of mobile phones, leveraging mobile phone technology to accelerate access to health information and services is a game changer,” he said.
A programme of this nature will require expertise, technology and resources from both organisations in order to improve the health standards and accessibility to the public.
Once those structures are in place mHealth and Orange mobile networks will be able to provide the public access to health information. It will assist healthcare workers to share medical expertise, collaborate with specialists regardless of location and improve patient care.
Orange’s global presence in 20 countries in Africa and the Middle East will provide easy and reliable access to these services.
Thierry Zylberberg, the director of Orange Healthcare, said that these digital innovations will improve the lives of those less fortunate.
“Together with USAID, we are creating innovative mHealth platforms that open up the opportunities for remote patient monitoring or healthcare workers to make better-informed decisions and facilitate quality care for all citizens,” said Zylberberg.
USAID and Orange would like to create a framework and system that is easy to replicate in various African countries. Together they have already began to develop a platform in West Africa with applications that departments of health, donors and NGOs can use for consumer education, mobile money and data collection.

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