The Cloud Makes Basic Health Care In Developing Countries Possible
Can cloud technology help bridge the gap between healthcare and developing countries? An open source mobile health technology company called MOTECH SUITE is doing just that – using the cloud to bring basic healthcare to people across the globe.
What Motech Is and Does
Motech's mission is to: “…deliver an integrated set of complementary applications that are scalable, sustainable and readily deployed” to the mobile health community mHealth. Thanks to the availability of mobile devices in developing countries, medical help can be easily spread to people in need through mobile.
The problem with this scenario is that bringing healthcare to people in need is expensive, time consuming, and often falls on the heads of NGOs. This, in turn, means a great lack of funding.
While the technology is present, it's not so easy to provide enough funds to bring mHealth to those that need it, and that's where Motech comes into play. This open-source platform provides simple applications to mHealth practitioners, so that medicine is as widely available as it should be.
Thanks to cloud hosting, Motech isn't reliant on any local servers. This can, literally, mean the difference between life and death for many people throughout the world.
The Cloud Makes it Possible
Relying on local servers in the Western world can be trying under certain conditions. Imagine what relying on local services in, say, Kenya is like. In certain parts of the world, cloud hosting does a lot more than provide a simple solution to new companies.
In these parts of the world, the cloud makes it possible for healthcare providers to take care of those in need, and provide basic care that's easily taken for granted elsewhere.
But there's a problem with cloud hosting in some countries too.
Government Restrictions Abound
Some countries are restricting cloud access due to paranoia and an attempt at sovereignty. Countries like Zambia do not allow cross-border cloud technology, and this puts a large hindrance on initiatives like mHealth. The recent NSA Prism news doesn't help either.
Fearful of what may enter or leave a country, governments in various parts of the world are still sticking to cloud restrictions. Countries like India are being pressured by citizens and the media to stop Internet restraint, but now those governments are pointing to what's been happening with the NSA.
Even though some governments openly tap into citizen Internet usage, those same governments don't want any other country involved in citizen privacy.
The Bright Side: The Cloud Makes Basic Health Care In Developing Countries Possible
By keeping cloud usage inside a country's walls, no other government can tap into those activities. Still, companies like Motech are using whatever cloud hosting options exist to help heal the world.
Motech also helps keep track of community data, health trends, and other bits of information that make providing healthcare easier for village doctors and health teams.
In the Western world, many of us seek refuge from mobile devices that are a dime a dozen. In other parts of the world, mobile is the difference between keeping preventable diseases at bay and making sure that all residents of the smallest village receive vital health care.