How smartphones can make us healthier

According to UNAIDS, 50% of HIV patients are unaware of their HIV status. Imagine the impact such lack of awareness has on the spread of the disease. But what can be done to encourage people to test themselves?

Studies have even shown that self-testing for HIV is an effective means of controlling its spread by removing the stigma associated with testing. It is critical then that we invest in technologies that help people test for such diseases in the privacy of their home, easily and inexpensively.

Being able to self-test on a smartphone and share results instantly would be an unprecedented, quick and easy solution to the apprehension associated with HIV testing. The social and economic impact of such testing would include limiting the spread of the disease, abating healthcare costs, monitoring incidence and spread, and ultimately saving lives.

Smartphones allow for so much today – managing your finances, navigating cities, checking health parameters. Why not use smartphones coupled with imaging software to simplify something as complex as a lab diagnostic test and bring it to the palm of your hand?

In addition to self-testing, consider how such an application would help with the recent Ebola crisis. An instrument as easy to use as a smartphone for airports, hospitals and borders, tracking Ebola, and with a few clicks, obtaining a dynamic real time geomap of Ebola incidence and spread.

Smartphones are powerful and ubiquitous tools and when coupled with cutting-edge imaging software can address some of the most critical social, health and environmental issues that we are up against today.

Full details on all of the Technology Pioneers 2015 can be found here 

Author: Neven Karlovac, CEO, Ketaki, a World Economic Forum Technology Pioneer

Image: Rosario Iannella, Qardio’s Chief Information Officer, models a Quardiocore heart monitor during Pepcom’s “Digital Experience”, a consumer electronics showcase, in Las Vegas, Nevada, January 6, 2014. REUTERS/Steve Marcus

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