An increasing number of people are using mobiles in their day to day lives; be it the CEO of a company in New York or a farmer in a remote village of Kenya, mobile technology is what connects anyone and everybody. With mobile usage penetrating even the most remote areas of the world, mobile technology has become an important tool that acts as a catalyst for sustainable development.
Mobile technology for sustainable development is still at a nascent stage, but it’s evolving rapidly; people are using it innovatively in various sectors such as – education, healthcare, environmental issues and many more.
Let us look a closer look at some of the areas where mobile technology is making its presence felt, when it comes to sustainable development.
1. Mobile technology for Disease Response
To curb disease outbreaks in developing countries such as Botswana and Kenya, HP with its partners PING (Positive Innovation for the Next Generation) and CHAI (Clinton Health Access Initiative), has introduced a mobile solution.
It trained its health workers to respond to symptoms of malaria by reporting about potential outbreaks of the disease, by sending text messages, to the concerned authorities. Through this process, the message reaches the authorities in around three minutes which is a huge leap forward from the earlier method of disease response, which could take up to three to four weeks from remote regions in these countries.
With similar mobile solutions in hand, third world countries will have better access to healthcare information that can prevent millions from suffering various diseases.
2. Mobile technology for Educating the Masses
Many of us are familiar with certain social and mobile games, which provide informative content on global or even local issues to people of various age-groups. Games based education is highly beneficial as they are a fun way to learn about something new or spread awareness.
‘Games for Change’ is doing significant work in this direction. It has built three educational games for women in developing countries for “Half the Sky movement”.
Users just require a feature phone and a high-speed internet connection to participate in three types of mobile experiences that teach them about – deworming, maternal health, gender equality, family planning, life cycle events etc. in order to bring about a positive change in their lives.
3. Mobile technology for Disaster Response
Mobile solutions are quite handy in case of emergencies such as natural calamities (earthquake, landslides, floods, cyclones etc.). For example, let us take the case of a first aid app, released by the American Red Cross that prepares people to face such emergencies.
The app provides resources as per the emergency medical situations and supplies general information to people. The best part of such apps is that they can support different disaster relief efforts in remote locations, where medical professionals, paramedics and other professionals are unable to reach immediately.
As can be seen, the use of mobile technology for sustainable development can be used in many different ways. Remember, this is just the start of a long and extremely fruitful endeavor that will surely improve the quality of life for a large section of people on this Earth.