GSMA has announced the launch of a new cross-ecosystem partnership through its Mobile for Development mHealth programme designed to provide a range of mHealth services to women and children with a particular focus on nutrition across Sub-Saharan Africa.
The mobile operator representative has partnered various companies in the initiative; Gemalto, Hello Doctor, Lifesaver, Mobenzi, Mobilium, MTN, omega Diagonistics and Samsung having far-reached impacts with an addressable market of 15.5 million pregnant women and mothers with children under five years of age.
The companies in the partnership are working to deliver the objectives of the United Nations Every Woman Every Child Global strategy as well as the Global Nutrition for Growth Compact, in the areas of nutrition and maternal and child health.
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 Samsung handsets;
- Leverage existing and new MTN SIMs to allow free access to health content, health registration and data collection via the Smart Health application;
- Provide simplified access to MTN mobile money, advertising and billing capabilities; and
- Make innovative diagnostics like the Omega Diagnostics Visitect HIV CD4 point of care solution more affordable and accessible via mobile integration.
The partners aim to simplify the relationships between mobile and health stakeholders, while maximizing the ubiquitous nature of mobile technology and its capabilities for health providers and ultimately for patients.
“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, Pieter Verkade.
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. 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,”
“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.