Cell phones changed everything in emerging markets. Isolated communities got a taste of access and upward mobility they’d never known before. Entire economies shifted as people were able to leapfrog roadblocks to communication. Now mobile technology is promising to transform healthcare in the same way. Project Masiluleke (which means ‘give wise counsel’ and ‘lend a helping hand’ in Zulu) is a breakthrough cross-sector collaboration that employs mobile technology as a high-impact, low-cost tool in the fight against HIV/AIDS and TB, as well as an introduction of an HIV self-test in South Africa.
The solution uses mobile technology in three crucial ways: 1) to encourage usage of low-cost diagnostic tools; 2) to walk patients through the testing process; and 3) to guide them into care should they need it, and encourage healthy preventative behaviors even if they don’t.
Project Masiluleke will offer an innovative distribution model that combines existing, low-cost diagnostic technologies such as saliva and blood tests with mobile support services in a region where mobile adoption rates are approaching 90%. And, crucially, this new solution will provide a level of privacy and anonymity essential to encouraging participation among men who typically elude the system.