Sunday, January 20, 2008

The invisible computer revolution

The invisible computer revolution: "Consider just one application: continuing education for clinical health workers. Many developing country health providers get trained once, at the start of their career, and never get any additional training at all.

This is because transporting these workers to a training conference is hugely difficult in countries where roads are inadequate, or don't exist, or fuel is scarce -- and sending paper-based materials to workers is either expensive, or more likely impossible given a poorly-functioning postal mail system.

But imagine a system that lets managers at a national level, who probably do have access to the internet on a desktop computer, coordinate and transmit SMS-based continuing education messages to the computers - sorry, to the cell phones - of those health professionals. What a difference would that make to the level of up-to-date knowledge available to a clinic worker? And how would that impact the quality of care?"

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