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Making Lives Easier, One Drop at a Time

Jason Kohn

By Jason Kohn, Contributing Columnist

We often think of technology in terms of flashy gadgets and slick new applications. But the technology with the biggest impact is often more prosaic. It’s about using straightforward tools to solve basic problems that make people’s lives better.

One of the best examples I’ve seen of this recently is NextDrop, out of Hubli in the state of Karnataka, India. NextDrop is attacking a problem that affects millions of people in India and in much of the developing world: unpredictable and unreliable water supply.

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Medic Mobile: Powerful Tools for Local Health Workers

Jason Kohn

By Jason Kohn, Contributing Columnist

I’ve been writing about mobile services in developing countries, and mHealth in particular, for a while now. But recently I had my first opportunity to speak to someone on the ground making it happen: Maeghan Orton of Medic Mobile.

Medic Mobile has a unique model. The company doesn’t focus on one specific mHealth application. Rather, it provides a mobile software and technology platform for putting mHealth tools in the hands of community health workers (CHWs), and lets organizations find innovative ways to use them.

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Reducing Infant Mortality through Mobile Messaging Services

Michele Baker CuthbertBy Michele Baker-Cuthbert, Guest Columnist

Communication technology has really gone a long way to improve our lives in America.  We have the power to connect with someone in less than a second.  For people in other countries, they are not so fortunate.

In poorer countries, it is next to impossible to get the information they need because a simple staple like the Internet or mobile connectivity is not available.  Just think, a soon to be mother would need information on what to do if she delivered her child early.

This is where MAMA, Mobile Alliance for Maternal Action has made a difference to over 20 million new and expectant mothers.  The MAMA free mobile phone messaging service is found in over 35 countries. Read More »

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The Power of the Text Message

Laura Walker Hudson, CEO Foundation, FrontlineSMSBy Laura Walker Hudson, Guest Columnist

FrontlineSMS grew out of a conviction that mobile could be a more powerful tool if it was made completely accessible to smaller teams and projects as a professional tool. Also known as text messaging, SMS is the most widespread digital communications platform to date and is still growing. The Cisco Visual Networking Index (VNI) Service Adoption Forecast predicts that 90% of global mobile subscribers will be using SMS by 2016, up from 74% in 2011.

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Mobile Influence: The Value of Connecting the Disconnected

Even though we all know the statistics showing the tremendous growth of mobile and smartphone usage, I continue to be amazed by the impact this technology is making for the most disconnected societies.

I am particularly interested in the use of mobile applications for social entrepreneurship. By using basic SMS communications communities have been able to educate and reach many more people than traditional tactics.

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