Work and Life in the Mobile Society/Life/Health
Issues regarding leading a mobile life and our health are both constructive and destructive; the negative issues are currently outnumbered by the positive issues. For instance, studies are showing that mobile technology is improving the quality of life for HIV positive people in Mexico. The second beneficial issue is the use of short message service (also known as SMS and text messaging) for the purpose of surveillance, outbreak updates and alerts, training and delivering health messages to the public in under developed countries. Negative issues with leading a mobile life are still premature and inconclusive, which makes it easy to state that leading a mobile life is only beneficial to one’s health.
Improving Lives[edit | edit source]
To begin, the mobile phone is improving the lives of those infected with HIV. A study has been done in Mexico of those suffering from HIV/AIDS whereby 40 individuals were divided into groups of 10 and given mobile phones, enabling them to communicate with other sufferers. They communicate health issues, offer advice on medication, and encourage one another via SMS and group messaging. The point here is that text/group messaging has enabled those suffering in tackling the effects of negative health effects of social isolation. Those living in rural areas are technologically isolated, and can now use the mobile phone to gain a sense of community with others in the same situation.
Access to Information[edit | edit source]
The second issue at hand is the ability to deliver important health information where computer and internet access is very limited. Kenya’s ministry of health, along with Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are using PDAs and cell phones in unprecedented ways to improve Kenya’s capacity to detect, prevent and control disease. The cell phone is much cheaper and more accessible than PCs and internet in Kenya. There are more cell phone subscribers than internet subscribers, and the rate of growth for mobile phones is more than triple that of internet. The mobile phone has tremendous potential in improving health communication and surveillance in Kenya. The cumbersome process of collecting, storing, transferring and entering data becomes much simpler with a mobile phone, which empowers field workers in rural countries to communicate health information where technological advances are non-existing.
Future Implications[edit | edit source]
What direction are we headed for in terms of the mobile life and people’s health? It is evident that much good can and will come with the continuation of technological mobile innovations. The mobile phone is proving to be a useful and innovative tool for the health of many people and nations. As discussed above, the mobile phone has provided people with a sense of community and has improved their lives, reducing depression and sense of loneliness. The second issue discussed is still in the developing stage, which has much potential and benefits to many people. The mobile phone and PDAs can help diseased and dying nations, enabling them to receive and distribute information like never before.
Conclusion[edit | edit source]
Rarely do we hear the positive side of what mobile devices can do for us, instead, we focus on the negative, such as whether mobile devices cause cancer and tumors, or that mobile phones are responsible for many roadside fatalities. The truth is, mobile devices have the power to help individuals regarding health issues as discussed above, as well as the possibility of death (cancer). If used responsibly and until there is suffice data indicating that these mobile devices are in fact a threat to our health, there is no reason not to keep using these devices to our benefit and assist those in need of health assistance.
References[edit | edit source]
- Anant Shah. “Public Health Communication in Kenya: Why the mobile phone instead of the conventional computer and Internet?” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. 08 Mar 2007.
- Anant Shah. “Public Health Meets Mobile Technology.” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. 08 Mar 2007. http://www.cdc.gov/news/2007/03/mobiletech_main.html.
- Anant Shah. “Text Messaging and Public Health Communication in Kenya.” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. 08 Mar 2007. http://www.cdc.gov/news/2007/03/mobiletech_sms.html.
- Nthateng Mhlambiso. “Mobile technology improves quality of life for HIV positive people.” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. 14 Oct 2008. http://www.mobileactive08.org/node/965.