Every year Time Magazine publishes its list of the 100 most influential people. This year the list feature four categories: Leaders, heroes, artists and thinkers. Among the “thinkers” for the 2010 Time 100 is Matt Berg, a 32-year-old mHealth pioneer. Berg is technology director for ChildCount+, which equips community health workers in Africa with a text message powered healthcare service. Community health workers who regularly examine and treat children use ChildCount+ to text back the status of each sick child they find. The system enables improved health monitoring, faster interventions and better immunization and treatment campaigns.
After a mere 9 months, ChildCount+ has already reported more than 20,000 nutrition screenings, 500 cases of malnutrition and 2,000 cases of malaria. Berg and his team are currently scaling ChildCount+ to monitor more than 100,000 children under 5 years old.
Berg posted a thoughtful response to his nomination to Time’s 100 and it includes a number of acknowledgments. Here’s an excerpt:
“This recognition would not have been possible without the support of an incredible community of innovators, activists and friends whose passion and commitment to their work is not only an inspiration but important as their thoughts and actions are changing the way we think fundamentally about problems and how we can address them. It’s amazing to work in a community where open-collaboration and sharing ideas take precedence to personal accolades and where each other’s work, successes and even failures are celebrated. Whatever we accomplish, we do so standing on the shoulders of friends. I hope you see this recognition, as I do, as an incredible validation of our work.”
“I would like to take this opportunity to congratulate and thank my colleagues at MVP, many of who form the basis of the ChildCount+ team. Are work has just begun but your demonstrated dedication and expertise hold the key to realizing this project’s potential. In particular, I have the great fortune to work with Patricia Mechael and Andy Kanter, both pillars in m+eHealth respectively, and to whom I owe a great deal for their mentorship and guidance. As our project continues to grow, I am incredibly excited to work with people such as Bennett Nemser and our talented Health and CHW team who bring the understanding and attention to this project that is needed.”