The rapid advance in technology, improved connectivity, and widespread expansion of mobile communications has opened up the potential for mobile technology to become a transformative force for health service delivery.
This is especially true in developing countries where health infrastructure is often severely resource-constrained and fragmented. Mobile technology is changing the world as we once knew it, and every industry is attempting to discover high yield interventions that will help them optimize their offerings by reducing cost of operations, improving efficiency, and ultimately, saving lives.
One such application has been in the field of maternal and child health. Despite much public health sector and political attention placed upon Millennium Development Goal (MDG) 5, which aims to reduce maternal deaths, or to be more specific, the maternal mortality ratio by three-quarters by 2015, progress has been slow. Close to 300,000 mothers are still dying each year from preventable causes. Why preventable?
Because simple measures like better prenatal care by trained health workers can significantly reduce the number of deaths. Though there have been tremendous improvements on some fronts, there is growing consensus that MDG 5, at present, seems like a far-fetched dream. There is also an agreement, that in the absence of basic health infrastructure in large parts of the developing world, there is a need for an alternative solution.