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Global Problems Can be Solved

mHealth Alliance Summit 2010: Mobile Phones Boost Global Health Care

November 17, 2010

From November 8-10, 2010, more than 2,500 participants from nearly 50 countries came together in Washington, D.C. for the 2010 mHealth Summit to learn, share and discuss the power and potential of mobile technologies to improve health and patient care around the world. The Summit nearly tripled in attendance from its first year, and the numbers send a clear message: now is the time for mHealth.  In the words of Ted Turner, “Nothing is going to stop us from being a success. Let's make mHealth work.”

In his fireside chat with mHealth Alliance Chairman Tom Wheeler, Turner applauded the Summit participants for being trailblazers and daring to invest in something new in the face of skeptics. He urged the dialogue around mHealth to continue. “We need to work together. That's why we started the mHealth Alliance. Everyone is welcome here.”

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Later that same day, Bill Gates took the stage to discuss the future of innovation and global health. Gates’ remarks underscored the need for continued action to combat disease in the developing world, stressed the importance of vaccines, and described the role that mobile technology can play. 

“If you could register every birth on a cell phone — get fingerprints, get a location — then you could [set up] systems to make sure immunizations happen,” he said.

Other health and technology experts, including Aneesh Chopra, the first federal chief technology officer of the United States, and Judith Rodin, president of the Rockefeller Foundation, delivered engaging and inspirational keynote remarks. Rodin urged the development of open source technology and Chopra insisted that his speech was a call to action for attendees and experts to maximize the power of mobile technology for health.

The Summit also provided a forum to announce new partnerships, collaborations, and commitments that will shape the future of mHealth. On the first day of the Summit, the mHealth Alliance announced a million-dollar donation from HP, the mHealth Alliance’s first private sector technology partner. The following day, the Norwegian Agency for Development and Cooperation committed an additional $1 million to the mHealth Alliance to support its Maternal mHealth Initiative. The Alliance also launched a new partnership with Healthpoint Services, Inc. to deploy mobile health services for mothers and newborns at village clinics in Rural India. On the final day of the Summit, the Rockefeller Foundation announced its renewed support for the mHealth Alliance through a million-dollar grant in support of mHealth Alliance core activities. 

Following on the heels of the September United Nations Millennium Development Goals Summit in New York, the mHealth Summit further demonstrated the potential for technology and innovation to help us reach our international goals for global health.

Read more about the opportunity to seize the mHealth moment. 


 
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