TMCnet Feature
October 15, 2021

How Technology Innovations Are Saving Lives in Developing Countries



The overall social, economic, and political backgrounds of developed and developing nation groups differ dramatically, and developing countries are in desperate need of innovative healthcare solutions. Take, for instance, two children born at the same time, one in a developed country, one in a developing country – we’ll use Sweeden and Mozambique for this example.  



In Sweeden, life expectancy reached 82.98 years, whereas, in Mozambique, it sits at 52.94 years, which means the child is already born with lower hopes of reaching the age of retirement. What’s more, in Sweeden, there are 328 doctors available for every 100,000 people, whereas, in Mozambique, only 3 doctors are available for the same number of patients.  

The population of developing countries facing worse health issues and a low health expectancy has to do with the significant differences in general social, economic, or political backgrounds among developed and developing country groups. Fortunately, there is hope for these countries thanks to one great ally – technology.  

Here are some of the most cutting-edge health innovations that might save millions of lives throughout the world. 

Long-distance patient monitoring 

As we mentioned, developing countries face a massive shortage of doctors and medical personnel.  

To address the low patient-to-doctor ratio in some regions of Sub-Saharan Africa and avoid patients having to travel long distances for treatment, Himore Medical in Cameroon developed CardioPad, a wireless solution that allows for efficient monitoring of cardiovascular diseases from afar using Bluetooth and a mobile network.  

This way, doctors can monitor the patient’s evolution and the effectiveness of medications, only calling for an in-person meeting when necessary. 

Big data analytics improves disaster response  

During disasters, massive volumes of data are generated, including personal and medical information, route geolocation, survivor tracking, and more. Managing this data poses challenges, but when done well, it provides critical information on which to act, prioritizes and optimizes response efforts, and improves situational awareness through crowdsourcing. 

The American Red Cross built an app called RC View, which provides invaluable data about water levels, shelter mapping and availability, road closures, and so on. By using this technology, US Red Cross divisions, such as redcross-cmd.org, were able to respond to more disasters in two months than the last four years combined.  

Tackling female health 

While male health issues are also common in developing countries, there is an even bigger issue when it comes to female health. Lack of sanitary pads is causing significant school drop-out rates in India (23% of adolescent girls) and research shows that only 12% of women in the country use sanitary pads instead of makeshift materials.  

To help tackle this issue, a company in India is developing fully biodegradable sanitary pads using banana tree fiber. Local farmers benefit from such a ground-breaking innovation because their labor is required for the manufacturing of pads, and the biodegradable waste does not affect the environment. With the widespread use of biodegradable pads across India, it is now possible to recycle 108,000 tons of such garbage each year. 



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