& cplSiteName &

Android Helps Mobile Health Apps Get Well

Sarah Thomas
4/22/2010
50%
50%

In developing countries where mobile phones are the most common device for Net access, mobile health (mHealth) applications are taking on a new importance. According to researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), open-source mobile platforms are equally as important to closing the healthcare divide.

The MIT group, Sana, which this week won the first mHealth Alliance award, said that Google (Nasdaq: GOOG)'s Android OS was the group's first choice to make mHealth as affordable and accessible as possible.

"There was an underlying commitment among the developers to work in open source," says Trishan Panch, who runs strategy and operations for Sana. "Our key objective is to lower the acquisition costs of resources in resource-poor settings."

The group developed software that lets community health workers and physicians capture and send low-cost data transfers of secure electronic medical records from their Android phone using the 3G network or WiFi. By uploading the medical data to a central server, medical experts can be alerted to examine medical information and compare it to a patient's history. Treatment or referral can then be acquired in the same day. Sana is in discussions with organizations in the Philippines, India, Mexico, and North Carolina, Panch said.

As an open-source platform, users can download code online and install it in any Android handset and, eventually, on open-source Symbian mobile phones. Sana is working with public-health specialists, social entrepreneurs and MIT's own developers to make it as cheap and systematic as possible, Panch says. Right now that means making the software more user friendly and waiting for Android handsets to fall in price. Panch says that interest is already coming in from a number of outlets, including wireless operators.

"As networks enjoy really good penetration and the handset and chipset costs come down, they need other apps to drive traffic on the network," Panch says. "Health is a big driver in that point of view. Wireless phones with connectivity are a really cost effective form of computing in rural areas."

— Sarah Reedy, Senior Reporter, Light Reading Mobile

(0)  | 
Comment  | 
Print  | 
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View        ADD A COMMENT
Featured Video
From The Founder
Light Reading is spending much of this year digging into the details of how automation technology will impact the comms market, but let's take a moment to also look at how automation is set to overturn the current world order by the middle of the century.
Flash Poll
Upcoming Live Events
November 30, 2017, The Westin Times Square
December 5-7, 2017, The Intercontinental Prague
March 20-22, 2018, Denver Marriott Tech Center
May 14-17, 2018, Austin Convention Center
All Upcoming Live Events
Infographics
SmartNICs aren't just about achieving scale. They also have a major impact in reducing CAPEX and OPEX requirements.
Hot Topics
When Will 6G Arrive? Hopefully Never, Says BT's McRae
Iain Morris, News Editor, 11/21/2017
Let's Talk About 5G Efficiency, Not Wacky Services
Iain Morris, News Editor, 11/21/2017
Eurobites: Telefónica Reckons Plastic Is Fantastic for FTTH
Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, 11/15/2017
Juniper's New Contrail VP Hails From Google
Craig Matsumoto, Editor-in-Chief, Light Reading, 11/15/2017
Animals with Phones
Live Digital Audio

Understanding the full experience of women in technology requires starting at the collegiate level (or sooner) and studying the technologies women are involved with, company cultures they're part of and personal experiences of individuals.

During this WiC radio show, we will talk with Nicole Engelbert, the director of Research & Analysis for Ovum Technology and a 23-year telecom industry veteran, about her experiences and perspectives on women in tech. Engelbert covers infrastructure, applications and industries for Ovum, but she is also involved in the research firm's higher education team and has helped colleges and universities globally leverage technology as a strategy for improving recruitment, retention and graduation performance.

She will share her unique insight into the collegiate level, where women pursuing engineering and STEM-related degrees is dwindling. Engelbert will also reveal new, original Ovum research on the topics of artificial intelligence, the Internet of Things, security and augmented reality, as well as discuss what each of those technologies might mean for women in our field. As always, we'll also leave plenty of time to answer all your questions live on the air and chat board.

Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed
Partner Perspectives - content from our sponsors
The Mobile Broadband Road Ahead
By Kevin Taylor, for Huawei
All Partner Perspectives