Often times we assume, and these aren’t far off assumptions, that developing nations are using our innovation and technologies to create their own successes. Yes, there are cases where this is certainly true. But as businesses, we frequently overlook at the creative technologies that under-developed and developing nations are coming up with.
What am I getting at? New innovation initiatives in healthcare have been present in under-developed and developing countries for as many as 10 years now. So… with all of the mobile applications and basically an endless fountain of information at our fingertips with smart phones, where are our mobile health applications?
Companies like mHealth Alliance and mHealth Initiative, Inc. have been innovation leaders in this area, penetrating the market with new ways to lead healthier lifestyles. Some mobile options for health care here in the U.S. Mobile phone apps have been created to:
- Assist expecting mothers seeking advice for a healthy pregnancy (Text4baby)
- Help elderly people, and people who take a lot of medicines to remember when and what medications to take (MedCoach)
- Provide emergency assistance when needed (5Star Urgent Response)
So expanding upon these ideas, and taking into consideration what already exists, we should be utilizing this “mHealth” initiative to our advantage. Collaborative efforts between government agencies, private sector organizations, health care professionals, technologists and non-profits/cause related organizations can create amazing success among improved health efforts nationwide.
Since many of the applications that have been created for developing nations are for things like disaster relief, tuberculosis treatment, AIDS related care and women without access to professional health care for childbirth, it is hard to say what technologies and ideas we can adopt and learn from these mobile applications. However, the idea of using applications to promote and sustain healthy behavior change initiatives can be a game changer and wonderful addition to a behavior change campaign.
Through graphically engaging content, useful yet enticing content, and integrated interaction with the demographic, the best behavior change results will occur. So putting this cutting edge technology and innovation idea to work is the next step in promoting healthy behavior change in the U.S. Applications with game based content creates an incentive for the person to interact with the information at hand. These applications may even be as straight forward as providing tips and information regarding the behavior change initiative. Regardless of the actual content that is well thought out and implemented into a mobile application of a campaign, using this approach can shy rocket the results of healthy behavior change initiatives in the U.S.