MIT course leads to innovative mobile health applications

In the short time FierceMobileHealthcare has been around, we've written plenty about the potential for basic cell phones to improve healthcare in developing countries that lack the resources of the West. Now, smartphones are finding a niche among health workers in remote corners of the globe, thanks to an incubation project at MIT, with support from Mexican billionaire Carlos Slim.

"Can you make a cellphone change the world?" is the challenge put forth by Jhonatan Rotberg, an employee of telecommunications firm Telmex whom Slim's foundation sent to MIT to teach a course called NextLab. Students have come up with about two dozen projects, and three have turned into businesses. One, called Moca, is a nonprofit that's developing software to facilitate the transmission of medical images from field workers to urban doctors in the Philippines.

"We started with X-rays, but there's no reason we can't also transmit ultrasound videos, echocardiograms, and other medical imagery," Dr. Leo Anthony Celi, a recent MIT grad, tells the Boston Globe.

For more about NextLab:
- read this Boston Globe story