It took the headquarters installation of a server and relational database--plus computers at nine remote sites powered by solar panels to substitute for a power grid--to provide a project database for a struggling malaria tracking project in Uganda. But that only served to highlight a crippling data collection problem, according to Computerworld. The courier method used yielded an eight-month lag between data collection and database entry.
After ruling out the use of land lines, satellite phones and generic cell phones to speed data collection, tech specialists found the answer right in front of them: Smartphones with integrated MicroSD cards for data transfer, used in conjunction with LogMeIn Rescue, a product often used by IT staffers for remote access to home and work computers.
In Uganda, the secure-application software allows staff members in the Kampala headquarters to quickly and safely retrieve data collected via the smartphones in the field. Data entry workers copy the disease data onto a MicroSD card and insert it into the phone for transmission to headquarters.
Elsewhere, smartphones are also being tailored by clinical application developers so doctors can run diagnostic blood tests and even view and send radiology scans, reports American Medical News. A recent study shows that a mobile version of the medical image viewing software OsiriX and an iPhone matched the results achieved on a full-scale workstation: 124 accurate diagnoses in 125 cases.