Leading NGOs join forces to equip health workers with digital technology

Leading NGOs join forces to equip health workers with digital technology

Two innovative NGOs have announced a partnership to increase the availability of digital technology to health workers in Africa.

Living Goods and Last Mile Health made the announcement at the World Economic Forum this week as part of a new initiative to provide digital tools to nearly 50,000 community health workers.

The plan combines the Smart Health app developed by Living Goods and Last Mile Health’s digital education tool, called Community Health Academy.

A statement on behalf of the two said:

“We have the opportunity to extend quality care to the doorsteps of millions. With aid funding in decline, now is the time for a smart combination of philanthropy and business to step up and step forward to lead innovation in healthcare delivery”

The campaign is designed to provide a cost-effective solution to the chronic shortfall in the number to qualified healthcare professionals around the world. Figures from the World Health Organisation suggest the world currently lacks 7 million health workers, which could rise to 18 million by 2030.

By using the latest digital software and online educational tools, the NGOs believe they can reduce both the time it takes and the expenses paid in fully training community health workers. This can help nurses in remote communities administer care simply through the aid of a mobile phone.

Raj Panjabi, CEO of Last Mile Health, spoke at a press conference at the World Economic Forum:

“We know that illness is universal and access to care is not…The world lacks access to the health workers needed to close this gap. We believe the power of mobile technology makes it possible to transform this problem. Virtually every other sector from retail to banking to taxis has been reinvented by mobile technology. Now we believe it’s time for technology to reinvent access to healthcare for the poor”

The initiative is being supported by Swiss bank UBS and The Schwab Foundation, which promotes social entrepreneurs.

More on the partnership can be found here.


Image Credit: Living Goods

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