Monday, November 04, 2013

BPN 1667: Social enterprises in healthcare

By Madanmohan Rao

Thanks to mobiles and social media, healthcare and environmental solutions are emerging in the consumer and citizen space, and not just in hospital enterprise IT and meteorological centres. Six winners of e-content in this category were recognized by the bi-annual World Summit Awards, held recently in Sri Lanka.

Here are my key takeaways from the project contributions, and recommendations from the winners of these projects who presented their findings to an audience of ICT innovators and entrepreneurs.

© Philipp Benedikt/Alexander Mattersberger
Mobile Technology for Community Health  from Ghana is part of service delivery for maternal health at Antenatal Care. It has two complementary applications: A Mobile-Midwife Application and a Nurse Application. Couples can both access MoTeCH messages via SMS (text) or voice in the local dialect or English. The service enables easy identification of both mothers and infants and saves time collating information to generate monthly reports, alerts and reminders.

Uepaa Swiss Alpine Technology from Switzerland is a mesh-networking app for alpine safety standards. The Uepaa app turns the smartphone of more than 25 million outdoor users into an alpine tracking, alerting and rescue device by using a wireless mesh communication technology developed by ETH Z├╝rich.

Beatona is the Kuwait Official Environmental Portal, a “one-stop shop” for sharing authentic environmental information related to Kuwait in both Arabic and English. People of various ages can enrich their knowledge about the environment, and allows them to be part of the system by allowing them to contribute in improving the knowledge base through various online tools.

I-MOVE to Learn from China is a training game designed by physiotherapist. It has 5 mini-games to help children of ages 4-12 with motor delay and coordination problems. It uses Kinect for Windows sensor to detect body movements. Players have to use their body as a controller to challenge each level. Thus, students can have fun while they are doing training. The application is being developed on the iOS platforms for Apple devices and other platforms as well.

True-Kare from Portugal is an online service to simplify the life of people above the age of 65. It enables one person or institution to provide remote care to another person via mobiles and a Web portal, sharing information on medication and health indicators. In Portugal the service is being promoted by the main telecom operator and the main TV channel.

Here are the tips which these presenters offered to the audience of developers and entrepreneurs:

1. Include experts on your advisory teams and boards. Inter-disciplinary projects require a good mix of insights and knowledge from a range of domains.

2. Don’t use the Web and mobiles only to ‘push’ information to target audiences, but involve them also in contributing, ranking, rating and voting on information.

3. Pay attention to impacts: collect a range of quantitative and anecdotal outcomes.

4. Don’t ignore humble voice and SMS. In an era of hype and excitement about rich-media apps, there is still a lot of shelf-life for text and IVR as service channels.

5. Rope in operators as partners. Though mobile operators are not the mighty kings they once were as compared to app stores, they can still help deliver scale for a project.

6. Don’t look just at overall numbers of audience impacted, but also the depth of impact for each user. This is especially true in the case of healthcare projects, eg those which save or improve lives of the elderly.

7. Examine a range of business models for sustainability. A mix of subscription and hospital service bundling works well for e-healthcare.
Presentations of the projects can be seen on the site of the World Summit Award


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