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How wireless technology will change global health

Fast Company, September 27, 2010

There are now more than 5 billion mobile phone subscribers worldwide and the vast majority of those individuals are from emerging economies. This global platform means that there is now the opportunity to place a diagnostic and communications tool in the hands of nearly everyone on the planet.

Using mobile technology applications can be sophisticated or basic. For example, on September 2 in Zanzibar, Tanzania, hundreds of cartons of counterfeit drugs were impounded by the Zanzibar Food, Drugs, and Cosmetics Board and Interpol in a special operation dubbed “Mamba 111.” Countering the world’s counterfeit drug problem has become a growing issue in the developing world. According to the World Health Organization (WHO) records, 10 percent of drugs circulating the world market are not genuine and 25 per cent of all counterfeit goods are consumed in poor countries—counterfeit medicines are 45 percent of the market in Nigeria and Ghana, for example.

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