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Low cost free SMS forum

When questions occur pregnant women or caring moms just need to send an sms to the other women and local healthcare workers. Whoever knows the answer replies to it thus helping the woman and everyone else who might have the same problem later.

Photo of DeletedUser
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Written by DeletedUser

The idea is to connect with different parties - hospitals, mobile communication providers, and possibly government - in order to provide pregnant women and moms in the areas with non-existent or little Internet coverage with information on how to take care of themselves and their new-born babies.


Business model (also see picture):


Women get to use the service for free. In return they listen to short voice ads or get sms ads regularly as well as answer queries and questionnaires. The ad payments from the companies is then used to provide the service (paying doctors and nurses involved; communication expenses, database maintenance etc.).


How it works (see picture):


The area is organized in many smaller areas with one hospital assigned to each of them. This guarantees that questions asked and answers shared are relevant to the people because they can give suggestions about where to buy what etc. Also there is a chance that later sms friendship between these women will bring them to personal interactions.


Women are subscribed in the local hospitals and are given a special number.
When a woman or her family have a question (regarding her state of health, advices on food, exercise and anything else) but cant, doesn't want to or considers unnecessary to go visit a doctor, they can ask community. First, database with ready answers is searched by keywords. If the answer is not relevant or not found then the sms is delivered to others. Other women or doctor/nurse can answer the question or share experience.
Answers can be directed to everyone or just one specific number.












What is the minimum level of mobile technology needed for this concept?

Cell phone

Which partners could help realise and deliver this solution?

  • Nokia
  • Mobile operators
  • NGOs
  • Government

Virtual Team

My virtual team: 1. Mokeira Masita-Mwangi She gave me an idea about dividing women into smaller groups by areas. Since women already visit hospitals I decided that its better if they subscribe there and not by sms. This way they can be better explained how it works. 2. Meena Kadri She gave an idea of filling the air time with users answering queries (not just ads) 3. My sister Although not on the Open IDEO but as a young mother of 2 children she gave me some valuable insights about what it looks like to take care of yourself when you are pregnant and your kids when they born. She told me about what kinds of information she looked for on regular Internet forums and how important it was for her to connect with other pregnant women.

Evaluation results

7 evaluations so far

1. Does this concept have the potential to save lives related to maternal health in the poorest and most marginalized communities?

A great deal of potential - 57.1%

Some potential - 42.9%

Not a lot of potential - 0%

2. How realizable do you think this concept can be? Think about the real issues faced by low-income communities, such as literacy challenges, affordability of devices and tools, usage costs.

It's very realizable - 28.6%

There are some hurdles to realization - 57.1%

This concept is not realistic - 14.3%

3. How much does this concept leverage resources and partners in existing low-income communities? Thus enhancing positive aspects of the way things work in the community as opposed to taking away what is a valued way of working and living in the community.

This concept works harmoniously with existing resources and partners - 42.9%

This concept does not work against existing resources and partners - 57.1%

This concept conflicts with existing resources and partners - 0%

4. Can this concept become self-sustaining and even provide some livelihood value add to the community?

This concept could become a self-sustaining business for locals - 42.9%

This concept still needs some work before it is self-sustaining - 57.1%

This concept is not self-sustaining at all - 0%

5. Will this concept work in low-tech & low-connectivity environments?

This concept is very well suited to low-tech and low-connectivity environments - 42.9%

This concept needs to be evaluated for technology feasibility - 57.1%

This concept may be too high-tech for low-income communities - 0%

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Photo of Chathura Gunawardana

who is going to decide which content to push to the end user? how do you go about getting first signups? great idea! probably can setup a mobile version of sms gateway like http://smsfree4all.com

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