“Is free and enables large-scale, two-way text messaging using only a laptop, a GSM modem, and inexpensive cell phones. Its aim is to advance healthcare networks in under served communities using innovative, appropriate mobile technologies.
Every day, more than 450,000 mobile phones in the USA find their way into desk drawers or rubbish bins and while these discarded phones may mean little to their owners, they can be put to work on the front lines of global health.
FrontlineSMS:Medic seek to transform people’s old phones into a tool for developing a more equitable, horizontal global health system. They have built a messaging platform for OpenMRS, a web-based, open-source medical records system. This messaging module will allow large clinics to extend patient records outside clinic walls, e.g. giving remote health workers the ability to update patients’ records via SMS, allowing clinicians to set appointment reminders and messaging CHWs about patient test results and treatment instructions.
OpenMRS is a multi-institution, non-profit collaborative led by the Regenstrief Institute, a world-renowned leader in medical informatics research, and Partners In Health, a Boston based philanthropic organisation with a focus on improving the lives of underprivileged people worldwide through health care service and advocacy.
These teams nurture a growing worldwide network of individuals and organisations all focused on creating medical record systems and a corresponding implementation network to allow system development self reliance within resource constrained environments.
There is a commitment this year at FrontlineSMS:Medic that centres around the deployment of three mobile health tools:, a lightweight patient records system that can be used anywhere there is a mobile signal; , a new tool that allows users to collect structured information by SMS. The Surveys module was developed to efficiently and accurately send structured information via plain text SMS available on the lowest-common-denominator handsets in low-resource settings. The final tool is OpenMRS.
OpenMRS is now in use around the world, including South Africa, Kenya, Rwanda, Lesotho, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Uganda, Tanzania, Haiti, India, China, United States, Pakistan, the Phillipines, and many other places. This work is supported in part by many organisations including International and Government Aid Groups, NGO’s, as well as For-Profit and Non-Profit Corporations.
aims to implement three national-scale and over ten regional-scale programmes by the end of 2012. Target countries include Malawi, Kenya, Mali, Bangladesh, Haiti and Colombia. Through these deployments, they expect to increase their number of end users to at least 15,000 health workers.
The NEED is loud and clear, large gaps exist in health systems. The disconnect between health centres and peripheral communities means that adherence rates suffer, clinicians are unaware of patient statuses, immobile patients cannot receive emergency care, remote health workers lack support, new illnesses are not identified, and drug stock-outs are too common. The absolute belief among its people is that FrontlineSMS:Medic’s tools can help create health systems that are connected, co-ordinated, and save more lives.”