A University of Southern Maine CS professor, Bruce MacLeod, and his graduate students are implementing a cell phone based medical records system, called Mobile Midwife, in Ghana. The project, funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, has nurses in rural villages use cell phones to enter information into medical records, keep track of immunizations and appointments. The system utilizes technology and infrastructure that is readily available in the part of Ghana in which the program was launched.
“One of the things that has everybody’s attention is that we did it with a $40 phone,” MacLeod said. The $40 phones are the ones that nurses use to keep records. Patients can use their standard phones, which typically are sold for $5 or less, he said.
The project is soon going to be tested in other parts of Africa and India.