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GSMA Announces mHealth Partnership across Sub-Saharan Africa
|By Business Wire
|June 30, 2014 06:00 AM EDT
The GSMA today announced that its Mobile for Development mHealth
programme has launched a new cross-ecosystem partnership designed to
provide a range of mHealth services to women and children, with a
particular focus on nutrition, across Sub-Saharan Africa. Initial launch
partners for the initiative include Gemalto, Hello Doctor, Lifesaver,
Mobenzi, Mobilium, MTN, Omega Diagnostics and Samsung. This programme
could have far-reaching impact; according to GSMA Intelligence, there is
a total annual, addressable market of 15.5 million pregnant women and
mothers with children under five years of age.
“This new mobile ecosystem partnership, developed by the GSMA, is
committed to connecting the mobile and health industries to develop
commercially sustainable mHealth services that meet public health
needs,” said Tom Phillips, Chief Regulatory Officer, GSMA. “The
companies in this partnership are working to deliver the objectives of
the United Nations Every Women Every Child Global Strategy, as well as
the Global Nutrition for Growth Compact, in the areas of nutrition and
maternal and child health. We call on mobile ecosystem players, health
providers, governments, NGOs, civil society and others to work with us
to launch life-saving mobile health services.”
The partners will jointly launch services in seven countries - Côte
d’Ivoire, Ghana, Nigeria, Rwanda, South Africa, Uganda and Zambia - from
September 2014. Phase two, which commences in 2015, will incorporate
additional partners and services and will address four more countries:
Kenya, Malawi, Mozambique and Tanzania. Collectively, the partnership
will reduce barriers to handset ownership and connectivity for consumers
and health workers by committing to:
Offer discounted Samsung handsets and tablets to consumers and health
workers across Africa;
Provide access to the Samsung ecosystem (e.g. music, video and other
value-added services) to be used as an incentive to drive health usage;
Pre-embed a Smart Health application that provides a range of
professional applications, information and services on 80 million
Leverage existing and new MTN SIMs to allow free access to health
content, health registration and data collection via the Smart Health
Provide simplified access to MTN mobile money, advertising and billing
Make innovative diagnostics like the Omega Diagnostics Visitect HIV
CD4 point of care solution more affordable and accessible via mobile
Through these commitments, the partners aim to simplify the
relationships between mobile and health stakeholders, while maximising
the ubiquitous nature of mobile technology and its capabilities for
health providers and, ultimately, for patients. Health content, patient
registration, data collection and critical diagnostics will increase the
access to health care for vulnerable women and children across Africa,
while providing the delivery mechanism for mHealth services that are
commercially sustainable and scalable.
“This partnership heralds a new era in the delivery of health care in
Sub-Saharan Africa, where currently access to even the most basic of
health services remains the worst in the world. MTN is therefore proud
to be part of this collaborative effort, which will deliver solutions
that harnesses the expertise of some of the leading companies in the
world, to improve access to health care for many of our customers across
the seven launch countries,” said MTN Group Chief Commercial Officer,
“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,” said Andrew Shepherd, Founder and Managing
Director, Omega Diagnostics Ltd.
“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. These capabilities provide the much needed
healthcare support in Africa, ensuring that we are aligned with the
Millennium Development Goals as set by the United Nations,” said Thabiet
Allie, Head of Content and Services at Samsung Electronics Africa.
For more information please visit www.gsma.com/mobilefordevelopment/programmes/mhealth
About the GSMA
The GSMA represents the interests of mobile operators
worldwide. Spanning more than 220 countries, the GSMA unites nearly 800
of the world’s mobile operators with more than 250 companies in the
broader mobile ecosystem, including handset makers, software companies,
equipment providers and Internet companies, as well as organisations in
industry sectors such as financial services, healthcare, media,
transport and utilities. The GSMA also produces industry-leading events
such as the Mobile World Congress and Mobile Asia Expo.
For more information, please visit the GSMA corporate website at www.gsma.com.
Follow the GSMA on Twitter: @GSMA.
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