Technology has done wonders for the world of medicine in both developed andemerging markets. In an effort to fuse the teachings of the health-conscious with the world of academia, I have compiled three undoubtedly game-changing health initiatives and shown how they can be tailored to enhance education systems.
HealthMap: As our world becomes increasingly interconnected, the pace at which disease and informationtravels has become expedited. With international jet travel no longer being seen as a luxury, an infectious disease or new virus has the ability to bounce between Thailand, the UAE and the USA within the span of twenty-four hours. Even more so, Facebook and Twitter have helped make communication instantaneous. HealthMap merges these concepts as it automatically monitors news sites, government data sites and eyewitness reports to pinpoint on an interactive map, new patterns of outbreaks. With a few clicks, one can find out about the most recent death rates in Chad or the rate of occurrence of a virus in Mexico, all while engaging users in what the site describes as “participatory epidemiology.”
Teching out the teachers: Imagine if school systems across the world were engaged in an online platform where educators and education officials could sync up their most recent developments, setbacks or ideas regarding schooling? Through automated fine-tuning, one would discover the most relevant and recent advancements, from their Twitter account to their Global Education Collaborative homepage, in one live and interactive interface.
Cell Phones as a Lifesaver: In a partnership with the United Nations Foundation, The Vodafone Foundation has invested almost $28 million in order to revamp health clinics throughout emerging markets. Doctors and nurses no longer have to succumb to using out-dated administrative and research facilities. Doctors can now access data regarding immunization rates, vaccine supplies and the likelihood of an outbreak by pushing a few buttons on their cell phone. Doctors can also use EpiSurveyor, the software used to download the health surveys, to make a verdict regarding childbirth. The EpiSurveyor helps provide doctors and hospital administrators with important documentation that assists in making crucial, life-saving decisions.
What the Minister of Education has to say about this: Pulling up a student’s academic history with a few swipes and clicks on my cell phone? I’m in. What could be more adequate in gauging the academic level of a student or dodging the bureaucracy of paperwork and mismanagement of paper files? Wireless Generation has caught on to the idea – creating mobile technologies that help teachers track reading and math levels of their students.
Digital Villages: The telecom giants of Kenya are changing the health landscape of the country. Safricom and Telkom Kenya have recently unleashed an electronic infrastructure that looks to connect Kenyans living in rural areas to doctors in urban cities. The 800 digital villages, which they hope will soon become 5,000, sync up patients with e-health services and small medical clinics through video conferencing equipment.
Eduvillages: So by using ICT to make the world, or in this case, the country a smaller place, digital villages help combat many of the common problems faced in emerging markets. By creating a digital videoconference network, students can attend school from the comfort of their home, leaving ample time to perform familial obligations. Take a look at
So there you have it. The world of edutech merges with e-health; just what the doctor called for.
Know of any other health initiatives that could inspire education systems? Shoot us a comment!
Keep Calm and Learn On,
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