The social impact of mobility

A report by the GSMA developed in collaboration with PwC, states that innovative mobile solutions can revolutionize people’s lives over the next five years. The report says that mobile-enabled solutions can save 1 million lives and can be used to great effect in the fight against malaria, TB and HIV. GSMA says that mobile-enabled healthcare solutions could save 1 million lives in sub-Saharan Africa; mobile-enabled automotive solutions could help in feeding more than 40 million people annually; and mobile enabled education systems can enable 180 million students to further their education. This is just a glimpse of the impact that can happen across industries if mobile-enabled solutions are used.

Besides the direct contribution, the social impact delivered by mobile-enabled solutions is extremely significant. Consider a sector like healthcare, where India has approximately just six doctors for every 10,000 citizens. In rural areas, where delivering proper healthcare services is extremely challenging, mobile phones can be used for remote-disease monitoring and delivering advice for real-time treatment. An inspiring project that highlights the success of mobile-enabled solutions is the e-mamta project, a project launched by the Gujarat Government with an aim to track beneficiary pregnant women and children and subsequently reduce high maternal mortality rate (MMR) and infant mortality rate (IMR). Reaching out to more than 20,000 people across 26 districts, the project has led to a 4-point drop in infant mortality.

In Bangalore, a firm called Jana Care, has developed a device that can plug into a mobile phone and turn any mobile phone into a basic blood analyzer enabling healthcare workers and patients to measure blood sugar and five other basic blood parameters. Considering that India has over 62 million diabetic patients, this device can be extremely useful in rural areas where access to quality healthcare services is relatively low.

In Andhra Pradesh, mobile phones are being used to capture important information on outbreak of diseases in rural areas. Health workers on the field use mobile phones to send information on diseases to a central server, which is then marked on maps. This innovative usage of technology has helped health authorities to pool in data from multiple locations quickly and pinpoint the exact locations where the disease outbreak is severe. Today, information can be quickly relayed compared to a delay of more than a month earlier.

Healthcare is not the only sector. Chennai-based Classle uses a cloud-based system which enables users to have access to learning materials absolutely free of cost just by using their mobile devices. Pune-based Nano Ganesh has developed a mobile-based solution that allows farmers to remotely switch on and switch off their motors remotely, which in turn helps them in avoiding the 7 kms journey that they have to travel to the field to just switch off their motors. In a country like India, mobile-based solutions are perfect as they can easily overcome the traditional challenges of infrastructure with a low-cost option.

In the future, expect India to lead the mobile revolution in terms of impact and use cases. The future is bright, and the possibilities of using mobile-enabled solutions are limited by only our imagination.

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