The MobilizeMRS team, which was one of the finalists in the Netsquared/USAID mobiles for development challenge last year, is now leveraging the FrontlineSMS platform to "connect patients and health workers that are remote and isolated from health centers" in developing markets. The team has big plans to bring their text message-powered solution to some 25 pilots by next summer. The announcement comes after a big week for mHealth in emerging markets--read our interview with the head of the U.N.-Vodafone Partnership if you missed it.
The start-up is now called FrontlineSMS:Medic and it aims to gather structured data from the field that can be integrated into electronic medical records (EMRs). The new direction for the MobilizeMRS team began when one of FrontlineSMS' pilot leaders, Josh Nesbit at St. Gabriels Hospital in Malawi joined the MobilizeMRS team. The new team also includes Lucky Gunasekara, a Stanford med student who is busy making sure FrontlineSMS:Medic works well with a SMS/MMS mediated medical diagnostic currently under development at UCLA.
According to the start-ups blog, other benefits include: a bigger team, closer working relationship with FrontlineSMS and more connections to rural health centers. FrontlineSMS' association partner, The Kiwanja foundation may prove helpful with taxes, too. Also, once the FrontlineSMS:Medic team finishes school, the venture it "might find a home" at FrontlineSMS.
What to expect in the future: 25 pilot studies and partner clinics by the summer of 2010 with free software and hardware. Read the team's blog entry for more.
Also, there's a great post on this group at the Change.org site: Article
Also, kudos to the team for choosing the "correct" symbol for medical companies/organizations in the Staff of Asclepius (rod with single snake around it) versus the seemingly more popular magic wand of the Greek god Hermes (two snakes, two wings, you know the one.) Explanation