SMS To Save Lives

from the it's-quick,-it's-easy,-it-works dept

For all the talk about how SMS is mostly being used as a new method for kids to pass notes, there are obviously many more interesting uses. In South Africa, people are using an SMS-based filing and notification system to process health information for AIDS patients. Since there are so few doctors and nurses taking care of these patients, they send around “therapeutic counselor” to visit the patients and see how they’re doing. Those counselors used to then go back and file paper reports. However, now they’re filing reports via their mobile phones using SMS (though, it makes you wonder if they use “txt spk”). This lets the data be entered much more quickly, and emergency situations get attention much faster. Of course, it’s not all good, as the article notes that some of the counselors have been mugged for their phones. Still, it seems like this is just the beginning. It’s not hard to go from there to thinking about people sending in their own info… to more advanced systems that send in the info for the patients themselves, so they don’t need to worry for someone to visit them all the time.

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