CARE has started to use technology in its rural health delivery system. Village Health Champions (VHCs) are ordinary citizens, not doctors, that are trained by CARE to provide basic healthcare to their neighbors in rural areas where it can be hard to reach a doctor or hospital. For routine cases, these VHCs can use a mobile device with a built in system to diagnose proerly, order prescriptions, and even contact doctors from CARE. The VHCs also have a stock of different over the counter drugs. The product will start its pilot this fall in 50 villages and will reach 100,000 people by 2012.
These devices are the forefront of microinsurance: using technology to offer high quality, low cost services to individuals. Technology will be essential to widening the scope of microinsurance to the two billion people who do not currently have access to it. Technology, such as mobile phones, has already penetrated the BOP market rapidly and with the prices of wireless internet rapidly decreasing, new technology will reach even more people. In health, the advent of mobile technology has allowed patients to get treatment without having to pay any money up front, saving lives of the poorest of the poor.
There are a few things that need to be in place for microinsurance practices to be sustainable — including lowering administrative costs and reducing fraud through RFID. To find out what’s next and on the cutting edge in mobile technology, come to SOCAP10.
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