Friday, 4 December 2009

Mobile Health Care in Cambodia

Cambodia has many health care challenges especially in rural areas. There are of course lots of opportunities to use mobile technologies to help the diagnosis and reporting of illness and to help the health centres and hospitals run more effectively, too many perhaps in terms of identifying priorities.

The university sector in Cambodia also has challenges - many if not most academics were killed or exiled during the Pol Pot era and universities were closed down for quite a few years. There is still a major problem with research capacity and although researchers have technical skills, the capacity to conduct research in the community is more problematic.

IDRC, the Canadian government development research agency, fund projects across south Asia designed to build research capacity and I mentor one such project at the Royal University of Phnom Penh.

They're working on a system that'll probably use 'fronterSMS' to provide support to doctors and patients and will tackle specifically the problems of those rural people who have no English and only speak and write Khmer. Today we talked about strategies for testing the technology and organising user trials.

Thursday, 3 December 2009


Heading off to London to the Institute of Education on Tuesday afternoon to take part in a debate entitled "Mobile learning; handheld learning? What do we mean?" with Norbert Pachler, Graham Brown-Martin and Elizabeth Hartnell-Young. I think the distinction is slightly specious on the face of it but nevertheless could throw up some meaningful differences. My position in part is that neither handheld or mobile learning fully address the transformation of all sorts of things including the economy, employment, communities, identity, knowledge and learning as society increasingly engages with near-universal connectedness and mobility.

Anyone interested?

It's at the WLE Centre, Institute of Education, University of London, 20 Bedford Way, WC1H 0AL. Free events with refreshments. Nearest tube Russell Square.