Global Health Ideas

Finding global health solutions through innovation and technology

Mobile Phones & Global Health III: Ultrasound, Imaging & ECG to Go!

1. Microsoft is funding research in Argentina and India into low-cost electrocardiogram (ECG) machines. The devices, which can cost less than $100, use cell phones to transmit data to a computer, where it can be analyzed and then conveyed to a doctor.

2. Using Rubinsky’s gear, a doctor could use a cell-phone screen to view a cross section of tissue. In this image, a doctor uses a cell phone to magnify a patient’s breast tissue and examine it for a tumor.
SOURCE: Business Week

This is our third post on mobile phones and international/global health (post 1, post 2). This post is largely imcomplete, but I wanted to get it up. The above pics and quotes below are based on a feature in Business Week:

“It’s not easy to lug an ultrasound machine into a remote village’s health clinic—much less keep it running. But a cell phone? No problem…”

“According to the World Health Organization, about half of the imaging equipment sent to developing countries goes unused because local technicians aren’t trained to operate it or lack the necessary spare parts. So researchers are stepping up efforts to employ wireless technologies to deliver crucial medical services, particularly in underserved areas…Scientists from the University of California, Berkeley, have just developed a prototype technology that uses cell phones to deliver imaging information to doctors.”

“The University of California professor says that by reducing a complex electromagnetic imaging machine to a portable electromagnetic scanner that can work in tandem with a regular cell phone and a computer, he has essentially replicated a $10,000 piece of equipment for just hundreds of dollars.”

Another source – Imaging technology could be useful in poor countries:
Some types of medical imaging could become cheaper and more accessible to millions of people in the developing world if an innovative concept developed by an engineer at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem fulfils its promise. The device uses cellular phone technology to transmit magnetic resonance images, computed tomograms, and ultrasound scans (PLoS One 2008;3:e2075; doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0002075)

One other recent article in this area, from PC World –
Mobile Phones and the Digital Divide: Whether you’re building an application for the 3G iPhone in the United States or trying to figure out how to deliver health information via SMS (Short Message Service) to a rural community in Botswana, the mobile space is diverse and exciting in equal measure.

Also be sure to check out:
– Why people seek out health information, link


Written by Aman

August 27, 2008 at 9:58 pm

4 Responses

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  1. A great idea….. mobile phone technology is improving so quick and these apps are becoming more and more useful. Long gone are the days where we just use our phones for making calls now they can be used for ECG interpretation.



    May 31, 2013 at 6:00 am

  2. […] Drop (Mar 10, 2009) Mobile Phones & Global Health III: Ultrasound, Imaging & ECG to Go! (Aug 27, 2008) Mobile Phones and International Health Links Part II (Aug 3, 2008) Mobile Phones and Global Health […]

    Global Health Ideas

    May 18, 2009 at 9:04 pm

  3. […] Health Links Part II Mobile Phones & Global Health III: Ultrasound, Imaging & ECG to Go! Link Possibly related posts: (automatically generated)Mobile Phones and International Health Links Part […]

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