For the last two weeks, the world’s eyes have been on St Mary’s Hospital, Paddington for news on the arrival of the Royal baby. We know now Prince George is a healthy 8lbs 6oz with a decent schlock of hair. Good news all round, and the media trucks, crowds and young family themselves have left, as quickly as they came, but St Mary’s Paddington itself is an interesting place, notwithstanding its history in delivering new members of the Royal family.
In 2010 a group of students from Stanford and Lewis & Clark in Oregon ran a pilot of the open-source software FrontlineSMS to co-ordinate community health workers at St Gabriel’s Hospital outside Namitete in Malawi. FrontlineSMS allows community volunteers, medical personnel, patients and families to communicate more efficiently. Co-ordination of treatment has improved dramatically, particularly the palliative care offered by St Gabriel’s.
Dr. Aydogan Ozcan leads a research group who have done remarkable work on shadow imaging with a view to deploying low-cost cell-phones with cameras in low-resource communities in developing countries. Low-cost cameras used by personnel with a minimum of training could be used in disconnected communities to photograph fluid samples, capturing the micro-scale signature of cells, and transmit images to centralised clinics for analysis by infectious disease experts.
Just over a week into the new year, one day in to CES and already I’m feeling guilty. I need to get mHealthed up. Shed some Christmad punds. Reform myself, detox, work harder, exercise more. Ohh, if only there were some technology innovations, some brilliant new gadgets that would monitor my activity, analyse me, poke and guide me.