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This blog was originally published on the Maternal Health Taskforce blog. It examines the role of technology in changing the realities of global health care and offers a great wrap-up of the 2010 Global Maternal Health Conference in Delhi.
The Global Maternal Health Conference has ended—and ended with a bang. The “Maternal health: digital” panel closed the conference with exciting, new, and innovative ways for using technology for global health and maternal health issues. Advances in tools for cross-media storytelling, social networking, digital games, real-time messaging, and mobile and location-aware technologies are being adapted to fit the needs of the maternal health community—and are helping to fuel the increased momentum around the issue.
Here are some of the highlights, but watch the full session to get all the details:
Many new online tools, like Google’s Health Speaks, rely on the power of volunteers and their knowledge. This trust is something that is hard for many professional health experts to believe in—yet it opens so many doors to innovative ideas. During mini-presentations, others talked about the power of putting technology into the hands of the people in the field through: online reporting (Pulitzer Center’s Dying for Life); crowd-sourcing through online survey and discussion forums for midwives, nurses, and doctors (Global Voices); and interactive mapping of maternal health organizations (Maternal Health Task Force).
Though it may be difficult for researchers and experts to hand the reins of collecting and disseminating information to those in cyberspace—this is the future of maternal health. We have to have some level of trust in our cyber advocates and activists, but still maintain a watchful eye on their outputs and inputs.
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