The use of existing smartphones by healthcare workers in low-income countries such as sub-Saharan Africa can be used to diagnose, track and control infectious diseases.
Mobile technologies like text messages and calls already connect healthcare workers and patients. A new review suggests smartphones could also help enable people to test themselves, and get results and support in their own homes. Many smartphones have sensors built in that can aid in diagnosis such as heart rate monitor and oximeter. Samples such as a pinprick of blood could be scanned onto mobile apps.
As of 2016, global smartphone adoption had reached 51% and is predicted to keep growing, particularly in resource limited settings such as sub-Saharan Africa.