Cell Phone Technology Is Key to Better Health in Africa

Pneumonia is one of the world’s leading killers, yet it is often misdiagnosed and improperly treated due to its similarity to other febrile illnesses. Researchers at the University of Melbourne in Australia are exploiting the ubiquity of cell phones by adapting them to help health workers in the developing world diagnose pneumonia and perform other critical tasks.

Adapting Inexpensive Technology to Health Needs

Working as a physician in war-torn Mozambique in the late 1980s, Jim Black once crafted a crude calculator out of cardboard circles and tacked it up on the wall of a village clinic. The purpose of the makeshift calculator was to help local health workers translate the traditional lunar method of estimating a woman’s stage of pregnancy into a more precise measure of fetal development. Read More

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