Mobile technology empowers community health workers in developing countries

When the Savar Textile building in Bangladesh collapsed in 2013, killing thousands of workers, the first responders on the scene were local volunteers trained by online videos. And during the Ebola epidemic in West Africa, mobile phones were used to deploy workers, track supplies, and share information. In a blog post published March 20, 2017, in PLOS, researchers at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health highlight these and other examples of the ways that community health workers in low-income countries are using mobile technology to maximize their resources and improve patient outcomes.

Mobile technology—which is penetrating the developing world at an exponential rate—improves coordination and information sharing, making global health projects more cost-effective, write Junaid Nabi, a master’s student in global health policy, and Joseph Rhatigan, associate professor in the Department of Global Health and Population. “It is imperative to stay on the lookout for these kinds of opportunities, as the potential for improving health outcomes in impoverished populations through improved health care delivery is immense—and can save millions of lives.”

Read PLOS post: Empowering Community Health Workers with Telecommunications Tools: Lessons from the Savar Textile Building Collapse, the Ebola Epidemic, and Everyday Global Health Care Delivery