Samsung offers discounted phones and tablets to boost mHealth in Africa

As part of a GSMA mHealth program in Africa, devices vendor Samsung will offer discounted phones and tablets consumers and health workers across Africa.

Gemalto, Hello Doctor, Lifesaver, Mobenzi, Mobilium, MTN, Omega Diagnostics and Samsung are some of the initial partners of GSMA mHealth program across sub-Saharan Africa.

The ecosystem is designed to provide mHealth services to women and children, with a particular focus on nutrition, said GSMA.

GSMA Intelligence says the addressable market size is 15.5 million pregnant women and mothers with children under five years of age.

Tom Phillips, chief regulatory officer, GSMA, said: “The companies in this partnership are working to deliver the objectives of the United Nations Every Women Every Child Global Strategy, as well as the Global Nutrition for Growth Compact, in the areas of nutrition and maternal and child health. We call on mobile ecosystem players, health providers, governments, NGOs, civil society and others to work with us to launch life-saving mobile health services.”

The partners will jointly launch services in seven countries – Cote d’Ivoire, Ghana, Nigeria, Rwanda, South Africa, Uganda and Zambia – from September 2014.

In phase two, which commences in 2015, GSMA will incorporate additional partners and services and will address four more countries: Kenya, Malawi, Mozambique and Tanzania.

Samsung Africa

“Our devices capabilities provide the much needed healthcare support in Africa, ensuring that we are aligned with the Millennium Development Goals as set by the United Nations,” said Thabiet Allie, head of Content and Services at Samsung Electronics Africa.

The ecosystem will ensure the availability of discounted Samsung handsets and tablets to consumers and health workers across Africa.

It provides access to the Samsung ecosystem (e.g. music, video and other value-added services) to be used as an incentive to drive health usage.

The initiative will focus on pre-embeding a Smart Health application that provides professional applications, information and services on 80 million Samsung handsets.

MTN SIMs will be used to allow free access to health content, health registration and data collection via the Smart Health application;

There will be simplified access to MTN mobile money, advertising and billing capabilities and

“This partnership heralds a new era in the delivery of health care in Sub-Saharan Africa, where currently access to even the most basic of health services remains the worst in the world,” said MTN Group Chief Commercial Officer, Pieter Verkade.

Pix source: bellanaija