Johnson and Johnson is donating $200 million for a five year program called “Every Mother, Every Child”, aimed at helping 400 million women and children in developing countries. The donation amount will be in the form of both cash and medicine.

The program has four main components: Mobile health for mothers, treatment of intestinal worms in children, safe birth programs, and research and development into novel HIV and tuberculosis treatments.

The mobile health for mothers component will be aimed at more than 20 million women in prenatal and postnatal care in six developing countries: China, India, Mexico, Bangladesh, South Africa, and Nigeria. These expectant or new mothers will get text message reminders on their mobile phones about proper prenatal care and calls from health care professionals.

Johnson and Johnson states more than 1.1 billion women in poor and moderate-income countries already have a mobile phone – showing this program should not suffer from a lack of access to care.

The monetary amount and scope of individuals affected by this program is enormous – making it one of the largest, if not the largest, implementation of mobile health aimed at obstetric care. The results of this roll out will be closely watched — the lessons learned could help set paradigms for other patient populations in similar conditions.

We’ve reported before how text messaging is already being used in inner-city US populations to remind patients to take their prescription medications properly – and the initial data from these studies are positive. These results should encouraging to Johnson and Johnson.

Source: Associated Press