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A smart phone app to fight malaria

One of the big problems with malaria is that it looks like a lot of other fever-producing illnesses. Better diagnosis of this mosquito-borne illness could help reduce this major killer’s global toll.

Jennifer Hicks at Forbes writes about one solution — a smart phone app. Despite this article reading more like an advertorial, it’s at least an example that the problems of the developing world are of interest to the tech geeks, the medical industry and even readers of Forbes.

Before you mock the idea of using smart phones in poor countries, consider that Africa has seen the most rapid growth in cell phone use anywhere in the world. Smart phones are coming down in cost and coming into wider use in many poor countries.

Equipping rural health workers in remote villages with smart phones and malaria-diagnosing apps may sound unrealistic, but it’s really only a matter of time. Of course, better diagnosis will only help if the poor also have access to effective drugs and medical treatment, which is another (bigger) issue.

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About Author

Tom Paulson

Tom Paulson is founder and lead journalist at Humanosphere. Prior to operating this online news site, he reported on science,  medicine, health policy, aid and development for the Seattle Post-Intelligencer. Contact him at tom[at]humanosphere.org or follow him on Twitter @tompaulson.