People in developed countries are familiar with the amazing benefits of mobile technology. For everything from texting to banking to checking sports scores, most folks rely on their smartphones and tablets for much of their daily desires.
In the last few years, mobile technology has expanded and upgraded to the point where much of society can’t imagine living without it. Schools, stores, banks, and much more use mobile technology to stay in touch with you and meet your needs. At this point, society knows that it will never go back to the way it used to be, and looks forward to new offerings and services delivered via mobile technology.
But what about the developing world? In an era when much information is available over the internet, people in countries that lack basic services can develop by leaps and bounds if they have access to mobile phones. Families who never had a landline can now have cell phones, which help them learn, communicate, and stay safe and healthy.
Here, some of the basic ways developing nations are benefiting from mobile technology are discussed.
1. Health Matters
In parts of the world where healthcare is severely limited, cell phones can be utilized to provide tips for healthy living, medical advice, and medication reminders. Text messages delivered in a user’s language are an easy way for health professionals to communicate essential information to people in need.
Expectant mothers can receive weekly updates on fetal development and prenatal care, which can help prevent stillbirths and birth defects. After the birth of a child, parents can receive advice for the care of a newborn, along with growth and development milestones.
For healthcare professionals, mobile technology in developing nations can be used to keep track of patients. Reports can be submitted electronically, and files can be kept safely and accurately. Supplies and pharmaceuticals can be ordered and paid for electronically, which can speed up delivery and ultimately save lives.
2. Agriculture Can Grow Profits
In developing nations where people have historically grown just enough food to subsist on, mobile technology is being used to connect farmers with buyers, and the services which are available to transport crops to markets. This enables them to grow food to sell, and supplies them with money they can use for other things, such as clothing and transportation.
Mobile phones can also be used to access weather reports, planting and harvesting advice, and crop disease prevention. By using technology, subsistence farmers become producers who can supply their crops to a wider market, enabling their families to live richer lives.
3. Education is Simplified
Teachers, students, and parents in the developing world are all experiencing the education benefits associated with mobile technology. Tablets that are loaded with curriculum, encyclopedias, and all manner of books can be delivered to schools in remote areas. Teaching methods can be improved when teachers subscribe to tips and updates that are delivered by text or email.
Parents can keep track of their children’s progress, and students can access their assignments. Governments and nonprofit organizations can keep tabs on facilities from a distance, and delivery of supplies can be simplified.
4. Banking and Finance
In developing countries, especially in rural and remote areas, brick-and-mortar banks are limited or nonexistent. However, with mobile technology, everyone with a cell phone can have access to financial services. From a simple savings account to mobile payment technology, mobile phones are paving the way to financial security for millions of people.
Farmers can save money earned from a bumper crop to tide them over during a rough patch. Seeds can be ordered and paid for by phone, which helps secure the next year’s success. Families who pay school tuition can use mobile services, and entrepreneurs can start small businesses.
5. Government Can Communicate With the People
Virtually every aspect of a government needs to communicate with the people at some point. Centers for disease control can track outbreaks more effectively with mobile phones. Welfare departments can distribute funds and check on recipients with ease. Online voting can be used for elections, and polls can gather opinions and other information.
In the event of natural disasters, mobile phones can issue warnings and direct people to a safe place. During times of war, technology can keep the population updated and calm.
While smartphones in developed countries are capable of computing and running countless applications, the mobile devices in the developing world are of a more basic nature. These phones are satisfactory for accomplishing the tasks mentioned above, but there are still hurdles to overcome. For example, providing access to charging stations remains a problem. After all, what good is a phone if the battery is dead? People such as Ehsan Bayat are helping make mobile technology available worldwide.
Eventually, people in all parts of the world will have access to streamlined mobile technology that is easy and efficient to operate. The positive changes brought to people’s lives will be incredible, as they are able to gain education and financial freedom, make healthy choices, and take part in their government.