FrontlineSMS:Medic for Scotland Malawi Partnership 2009
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FrontlineSMS:Medic for Scotland Malawi Partnership 2009



Isaac Holeman prepared this innovation talk about FrontlineSMS:Medic for the 2009 meeting of the Scotland Malawi Partnership in Edinburgh. ...

Isaac Holeman prepared this innovation talk about FrontlineSMS:Medic for the 2009 meeting of the Scotland Malawi Partnership in Edinburgh.

About Isaac:
Isaac Holeman recently graduated from Lewis & Clark College in Portland Oregon, where he researched ribosome biogenesis in the laboratory yeast S. cerevisiae. His passions include medicine, informatics, anthropology, global health, blogging at, and practicing the Christian faith. Eventually he hopes to attend medical school. Isaac co-founded FrontlineSMS:Medic and is currently their Director of Clinical Programs. He will be working throughout East Africa next year, based primarily at St. Gabriel's hospital in Namitete, Malawi.

About the Scotland Malawi Partnership:

Educational Challenges and Successes in Malawi (30th May, 10.00 – 14.30, Stenhouse Primary School, Edinburgh) An event involving 8 Malawian Primary Ed...
read on >

> Funding update from the Scottish Government
As we move forward within the new financial year, the Scottish Government has outlined its funding position for 2009-10.

The International Developm...
read on >

Welcome to Scotland Malawi Partnership
The Scotland Malawi Partnership, exists to inspire people and organisations of Scotland to be involved with Malawi in an informed, coordinated and effective way so that both nations benefit.



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  • … and an ‘informal’ market which looks something like this (explain this and remaining slides)
  • FrontlineSMS turns a laptop and mobile phone into a 2-way group messaging hub. Because there’s no need for the internet, it can work in many places
  • CHW empowerment - when they aren’t paid with money…
  • CHW empowerment - when they aren’t paid with money…
  • CHW empowerment - when they aren’t paid with money…
  • CHW empowerment - when they aren’t paid with money…
  • CHW empowerment - when they aren’t paid with money…

FrontlineSMS:Medic for Scotland Malawi Partnership 2009 FrontlineSMS:Medic for Scotland Malawi Partnership 2009 Presentation Transcript

  • SMS, Medical Records, Mapping, & Mobile Diagnostics Isaac Holeman, Clinical Program Director at FrontlineSMS:Medic contact:
  • Macro Level Drivers
  • 4.4 Million Health Worker Shortage View slide
  • Urban/Rural Divides View slide
  • Urban/Rural Divides
  • 3.6 billion mobile phone subscribers (54% of global population) In 2002, mobile subscribers overtook fixed line subscribers 64% of all mobile users are in the developing world By 2012, 50% of individuals living in remote areas in the world will have mobiles The fastest growth is projected to occur in Asia, Middle East, and Africa
  • Market Penetration
  • Market Penetration
  • Scale through replicability depends on simplicity, cost, user ownership and empowerment
  • FrontlineSMS:Medic harnesses prevalent technology and a prevalent clinical model
  • FrontlineSMS: a laptop and a cell phone become a communication hub
  • Runs on laptops, desktops, or netbooks
  • Lowest Common Denominator Phones
  • Adapter connects computer to a phone
  • GSM modem for faster text messaging
  • FrontlineSMS Hardware Family
  • 1 5 15 minute installation, welcome to FrontlineSMS
  • Manage phone numbers under contacts tab
  • Send messages to groups or individuals
  • Recognize keywords for automated response
  • Our pilot began in June 2008
  • A nurse and 10 CHWs the first week
  • Start with basics
  • Micro-solar phone chargers
  • Impact in six months: 1. Saved $3,000 in motorcycle fuel 2. Saved 2,000 staff hours 3. Doubled enrollment in Tuberculosis program
  • A qualitative outcome: empowerment
  • Local ownership (of tool, project, data) Builds on local awareness Platform is free and works on available hardware Highly replicable and scalable No need for the internet Easy to use Responds to ‘their’ need (bottom up) Why it works
  • Current Sites
  • New Clinical Partners
  • Expanding Rapidly in 2009-2010
  • Extending the FrontlineSMS Platform
  • OpenMRS integration: Moving from paper records to mobile electronic records
  • OpenMRS is in the orange, moving towards green
  • Tracking disease burden & health services geographically
  • How a text message becomes a map
  • The best crisis communication tool is the tool you were using before the crisis
  • CellLab: Camera phone becomes a diagnostic tool
  • A pattern matching algorithm can diagnose diseases like Tuberculosis and Malaria
  • Print a pre-paid shipping label at
  • 1. Email with a brief description of your patient population, clinical environment, organizational resources 2. We help you brainstorm use cases 3. You decide whether you need someone from our team on site to help you get started 4. We put your clinic on and start gathering phones How do I become a clinical partner?
  • 1. Free & open source software and a team of implementers helping low-resource clinics and hospitals 2. The core platform works with lowest common denominator everything 3. Currently serving 1.2 million patients, working with global partners to reach several million more this year 4. Upcoming innovations include medical records via mobile phone, mapping, and cheap, mobile diagnostics What should I remember about FrontlineSMS:Medic?
  • Thank You Isaac Holeman, Clinical Programs Director at FrontlineSMS:Medic contact: