Happy 40th Birthday Mobile Phone

April 8, 2013

Forty years ago we took a giant leap into digital space and untethered by wires made the first mobile or cell phone call.

Today Australia boasts nearly 30 million mobile SIM cards for a population of almost 23 million and 60% of the entire worlds population has, or has access to, a mobile phone.

In developing nations the mobile has allowed people to skip the wired computer that they were likely never to have gotten and instead turn immediately to the mobile phone for health, banking, communication and so much more.

We have come so far in the last 40 years, changed our belief and understanding of the world and our place in it that it is often difficult to remember life before this magic little mobile box, but this week David Dowsett of Radio ABC Wide Bay and I took a nostalgic look at mobile phones and a futurist glance at where their headed.

Question: What do you get when you cross developing nations with mobile phones…

November 30, 2011

Answer: The ability to jump over traditional cable dependent technology and provide health services, education, banking and communication to the most remote places on earth, using mobile phones.

It’s amazing, but true that 64% of all the world’s mobile phone users are found in developing nations and of those 80% are in rural areas, this provides a ready technology platform on which innovation and social equity can be built.

In this weeks segment, Adalaine Ng of radio ABC Australia and I take a meander through the use of how mobile phones are closing the gap between the technological have and have-nots.

Listen now:

What do you get when you cross a mobile phone and a Doctor?….

September 25, 2011

Australia has 2.5 doctors for every 1,000 people, Uganda has 0.08 for every 1,000 people; America has 2.7, India has 0.6., so how do you cope with 60 people contracting and 1.9 people dying of tuberculosis every minute and 91% of these deaths being in Africa.

Part of the answer is in the most unexpected form of technology – the mobile phone.

The one thing that developing countries increasingly have access to are mobile phones with 71% of Indians and 48.6% of Bangladeshi’s owning mobile phones.

Put this technology in the hands of the right people and attach them to an avalanche of medical tools and resources and you can begin to make a dent in the massive issue.

The UN, World Health Organisation and billions of charitable dollars are being used towards spreading medical assistance through mobile devices to the hitherto near impossible to reach corners of the globe.

This week radio 6PR’s Jason Jordan and I chat about some of the incredible programs and uses for mHealth including playing an onscreen cricket match whilst simultaneously learning about HIV Aids prevention; or feeding your virtual pet as a way to remind you to take your own medicine, or connecting a network of village based basic trained medical providers to a huge network of larger city Doctors and Hospitals.

So the answer to “What do you get when you cross a mobile phone and a Doctor?” is – a cost effective way to spread medical care and knowledge to the most remote and disenfranchised people on our planet.

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