HP has partnered with the nonprofit PING (Positive Information for the Next Generation) for a year-long clinical trial in Botswana, in an effort to more accurately monitor and prevent outbreaks of malaria in the region. In a partnership with the Clinton Health Access Initiative (CHAI) and mobile operator MASCO, healthcare workers will be given Palm Pre 2 smartphones which use webOS and cloud computing technologies to document at-risk areas. HP acquired Palm last year for $1.2 billion.
The mobile app will use video, audio, pictures, and GPS information to create a database of information that can be analyzed as a malaria outbreak forms. A similar trial using the same technology to monitor cardiovascular disease is currently underway in Singapore. In that trial, a watch-like device monitors users’ heart-rates & other vital signs, which are then displayed as graphs and charts in a mobile app.
“We’re focused on addressing health and development problems by not only using technology in an innovative way, but also by creating more problem solvers in the local population,” Katy Digovich, Director of Operations at PING, stated in the release. “By combining our socially active core with innovation and business acumen from HP, and the scale of government organizations, we can achieve the greatest opportunity for lasting social change.”
This isn’t the first time HP has supported mobile health initiatives in developing markets. They collaborated with mPedigree on an SMS-based system for validating prescriptions and also gave $1 million in funding to the mHealth Alliance.