The GSMA has partnered with MTN to provide 3,000 Samsung mobile phones and the pre-loaded Smart Health Pro (SHP) mHealth app to health workers fighting the Ebola outbreak in West Africa.

This initiative is part of GSMA’s mHealth programme to improve mobile handset health data access. SHP was first launched in June as a service aimed at children and women across the African continent focussing on nutrition.

In response to the Ebola outbreak, SHP offers an Ebola outbreak portal that allows health workers to browse FAQ’s, report Ebola cases, access maps plotting the outbreak, monitor stock and equipment, access information from the World Health Organisation (WHO) and receive returned lab results.

The app is able to identify the preferred language of the mobile user and translate the content into numerous African languages. The user can also use a finger monitor connected to take CD4 count tests on HIV patients to obtain results faster than traditional testing methods.

SHP allows existing apps to communicate with each other without changing their architecture enhancing its functionality and facilitating the sharing of test results and other information between diagnostic apps.

“SHP allows us to harness all of the tens of thousands of mobile apps, services and content out there and to provide it in a very simplified, coordinated, coherent fashion,” said CEO of Mobenzi and Head Developer of the app, Andi Friedman. “Up until now, there were all these initiatives being launched, but very little to bring them together to make sense to a health worker who is bewildered by all of the content.”

GSMA is targeting basic cell phones, which is why the app is only available on Android. “We’re looking at deploying this on $40 and $50 handsets to make sure as many people as possible can have access to the app,” said Friedman.

At present, the app is exclusively available to practitioners in the public health sector but will be available for consumers in early 2015.

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