Switchboard - mobilizing global health

Posted on by Brandon Klein

Switchboard has networked all of the doctors in Ghana and Liberia, and is creating the developing world’s largest network of health workers in Tanzania

We use mobile phones to create nationwide networks of health workers.

Switchboard partners with mobile operators to create free nationwide calling networks for health workers.  Everyone in the network, from clinical officers in rural clinics to doctors in urban hospitals, can call or text each other free of charge.  As practitioners make free calls to seek advice or refer patients, they also become valuable customers of our telecom partners, making paid calls to friends & family that generate millions in revenue.

The free closed-user-group provides the critical incentive for health workers nationwide to register their mobile number.  Switchboard’s easy-to-use mobile USSD registration works with even the most basic phones, making it simple to collect mobile numbers for every health worker in the country. With access to the nationwide registry, rural practitioners can freely consult with urban experts.

With everyone’s mobile number collected, each health worker’s phone becomes the vehicle to share knowledge, receive content, and report data.  Isolated health workers can receive disease outbreak alerts or lab results instantly on their phone.  Professionals in the field can use text messages to answer vital questions or report medical supply levels to the Ministry of Health, all through Switchboard’s Bulk SMS platform.