New mobile era
At MIT teams of the Media Lab’s Next Billion Network – our next generation of tech movers and shakers – are exploring new ways to harness the increasingly ubiquitous cellphone to help people in developing nations to raise their incomes, learn to read, get where they’re going, and diagnose their health. Casey Kazan of The Daily Galaxy reports.

“Improving the delivery of health care in rural areas has been one major focus of these research efforts. Patients in a remote village, for example, now may have to spend a whole day or more traveling to the nearest clinic in order to be tested, diagnosed and receive treatment or a prescription drug for their health problems. But a new open-source software system developed by students who formed a nonprofit company called Moca could provide a faster way.

Using a menu of questions downloaded to a cellphone – and, if necessary, a picture taken with the phone’s built in camera – a patient can transmit enough information to a doctor or nurse in a remote location to get a preliminary diagnosis, and to find out whether the condition warrants a trip to the clinic or not. “

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