Allowing instant communications among public health officials is critical to responding to infectious disease outbreaks in a timely and effective manner. Smart Mobile facilitates this process by providing a free, dedicated, phone number for public health emergency communications, along with other cost-saving commitments, thereby creating a real-time alert and rapid response network that will save lives. The introduction of GeoChat throughout the nation also helps make the work of government a two-way dialogue with the community and allows a wide network of collaborators to participate in the early detection and response of an outbreak.
GeoChat is a simple application that can be used by Smart Mobile users to set up group chats, share reports of information from the field and send targeted alerts. It works over the Web, Twitter and SMS–text messages. InSTEDD has a lab in Cambodia that does local design, implementation and support of web and mobile collaboration technologies for public health and in times of crisis. Training and building technologies locally makes sure the special needs of each region are understood and the outcome is more sustainable.
InSTEDD’s lab, in collaboration with other regional partners, are already extending GeoChat for specific humanitarian and public health uses. Within the past few months, four other nations in Southeast Asia have requested deployments of InSTEDD's GeoChat. Along with Smart Mobile, InSTEDD looks to bring the best of technology to those who help make local communities stronger, safer, and healthier.
This is the first such technology deployment in Cambodia and has set a precedent for how local communication providers can collaborate to scale successful mobile solutions with a social impact and with a view to long-term sustainability. With Smart Mobile's support of GeoChat, new applications for health can be deployed country-wide without requiring additional infrastructure.