Using cellphones to improve healthcare delivery
The innovativeness of this approach is that it helps overcome the challenges of disease tracking and patient referral in settings where medical records and referral systems do not exist. The RFID bracelet provides unique identification, allowing health workers to verify identity and view basic medical records, and respond to emergencies quickly
The Interactive Alerts system has been specifically developed to use the Nokia 6131 NFC phone for childhood pneumonia surveillance and referral in low-resource settings, although it can be easily extended to other diseases. At the time of the 6-week vaccination visit, children are given a radio frequency ID (RFID) tag in the form of a traditional bracelet. This tag provides a unique ID to the child, and parents are advised and encouraged to take sick children to participating general practitioner clinics or general hospitals in the program. At each encounter, the Nokia 6131 NFC phone is used to scan the child’s tag. Pertinent immunization, clinical and laboratory data is collected and posted to the server via GPRS in real-time, and can be viewed over a secure website.