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mHealth Challenge from Thomas Porter

Dr Tom Porter of the Public Health Commissioning Network has issued us with a challenge to explore at the upcoming ThinkCamp:

The 12 year old daughter of a male head of a household in rural Kenya develops a high fever and becomes delirious.  The family are three hours by bus away from the nearest government healthcare facility although there is a pharmacy in the next village, and a traditional healer in their own village.   The pharmacist has had only basic training but does have a relatively wide stock of drugs.  The head of the household has access to a basic mobile phone (calls/SMS, no data) and an M-PESA (mobile cash) account.  In what ways can mobile technology help the daughter be diagnosed and treated accurately and efficiently?

“Some of the things I’m thinking of when writing the question – pharmacist finding out more info on disease diagnosis/treatment through SMS or voice (e.g. access to standard textbook and/or voice discussion with hospital); head of household using SMS to reach possible diagnosis and/or to find out nearest pharmacist which can diagnose the problem and has relevant drugs in stock; use of M-PESA to pay for drugs and/or hospital treatment if necessary; head of household using SMS to be warned that traditional healer may not be registered and daughter’s wellbeing may be compromised. ”

…some food for thought for Friday.



The blog I’ve started recently is at www.mpublichealth.org.uk – would be glad to hear any feedback or comments on it,



About Margaret Gold

Margaret is an innovation and business launch specialist in the mobile industry, one of the organisers of Over the Air (the annual mobile developer hack-a-thon event), and the founder of The Mobile Collective.


2 thoughts on “mHealth Challenge from Thomas Porter

  1. Hi Margaret,

    Great idea and I’m surprised no one else has risen to the challenge.

    Here’s a link to my thoughts (apologies for it being a bit too wordy for a comment!):


    Posted by 3gdoctor | May 31, 2011, 12:13 pm


  1. Pingback: mHealth Challenge: Fever in rural Kenya « mHealth Insight: the blog of 3G Doctor - May 31, 2011

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