mHealth in Africa healthcare: iStethoscope
The use of mHealth in Africa healthcare seems to be more prevalent or increasing more than any other parts of the world. This could be due to the lack of large IT infrastructure and less cost in setting up mHealth infrastructure.
In addition, the smartphones are now equipped with so much computing power and features like cameras and other applications which couldn’t be imagined a decade ago. Thus, people are exploring more with mobile phones to do much with little. Where else, do we need to do more with little: Africa.
In the African context, smartphones are becoming a catalyst of change and important tools in rural areas and terrains which are hard to access. Also, they are helping in the challenge to solve immediate issues like diagnosis, screening, alerts and remote care. Precisely, mHealth technologies are enhancing the reach of quality healthcare in Africa.
There have been success stories in the use of mobile phones, in maternity care, fake drugs validation etc.
Another innovation in the advancement of the mHealth in Africa healthcare is: iStethoscope
This discovery is the outcome of a research at Oxford University and South Africa’s University of Cape Town. They adopted a smartphone existing microphones to develop a mobile stethoscope: iStethoscope.
mHealth in healthcare in Africa: How to Use iStethoscope
“The app allows patients to record their own heartbeats, and then forward along the audio to doctors who can track the development of conditions, such as tuberculosis pericarditis. A small clinical trial of 150 patients showed that a Nokia 3100 Classic could estimate patients' heart rates more accurately than a pricey electronic stethoscope, though the quality of the audio needs improvement. The team is now developing an Android application and refining its algorithm to better process the recordings”.