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Samsung incentivises African mHealth project with music

Will also offer discounted handsets and tablets to consumers and health workers

Mobile health mHealthIs music the way to better health? That is one of the questions brought to mind by a new mHealth project that aims to improve maternal and child health across sub-Saharan Africa.  

The project's partners include Samsung, which will offer participants access to the 'Samsung ecosystem' of music, video and other value-added services “to be used as an incentive to drive health usage”.  The electronics giant will also offer discounted Samsung handsets and tablets to consumers and health workers across Africa.  

Thabiet Allie, head of content and services at Samsung Electronics Africa, said: “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.  

“In this regard, 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.”

Smart Health, digital security and diagnostics  

Coming together under the auspices of mobile operators' association the GSMA, the mHealth partnership's other initial partners include digital security firm Gemalto, South African-based telephone helpline Hello Doctor and mobile data collection firm Mobenzi and they will work together to provide a range of mHealth services to women and children, with a particular focus on nutrition. 

The project will jointly launch services in seven countries - Côte d'Ivoire, Ghana, Nigeria, Rwanda, South Africa, Uganda and Zambia - from September 2014, and next year hopes to additional partners and services. There are also plans to expand the collaboration to four more countries: Kenya, Malawi, Mozambique and Tanzania.

Ultimately the aim is to increase access to health care for vulnerable women and children across Africa, while providing delivery mechanisms for mHealth services that are commercially sustainable and scalable.    

Telecoms company MTN, also one of the project's partners, will ensure access to a Smart Health application that provides health content, health registration and data collection services.  

Meanwhile another of the partners, Scotland's Omega Diagnostics has pledged to make its Visitect HIV CD4 point of care test more affordable and accessible via mobile integration.  

Andrew Shepherd, founder and managing director at Omega Diagnostics, said: “Current lab based static diagnostics tools are unable to meet growing patients' needs as countries step up their HIV treatment programs in conjunction with the decentralisation of CD4 testing.  

"Multi-layer partnerships for mHealth smartphone applications are poised to become an essential foundation in the bridge to augment the continuum of care to the neediest patients, whilst also providing management information and real time surveillance data.”

11th July 2014

From: Healthcare

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