April 18, 2013
by Colin Copeland
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Caktus sponsoring and speaking on mobile health at SwitchPoint 2013

Caktus sponsoring and speaking on mobile health at SwitchPoint 2013

SwitchPoint is a one-of-a-kind conference and a unique opportunity to learn, share ideas, and hear about global and mobile health efforts around the world. We had a great time at SwitchPoint last year. I’m excited to announce that Caktus, for the second year in a row, is sponsoring SwitchPoint 2013.

At Caktus, we enjoy working on projects that have a positive social impact and have had the opportunity to implement mobile health projects around the world, including in Nigeria, Rwanda, Zambia and Malawi. Caktus currently leads the development of RapidSMS, a free and open-source framework (built in Django) for dynamic data collection, logistics coordination and communication through text messaging (SMS).  RapidSMS is used widely across Africa and other parts of the world to improve patient outcomes and save lives in urban and rural areas. Over the past 11 months, Caktus has organized efforts around improving the RapidSMS core codebase, including infrastructure enhancements and coordinating community involvement and participation.

Additionally, Caktus is collaborating on UNICEF’s 1000 Days Product, which tracks the first 1000 days between a woman’s pregnancy and her child’s second birthday. 1000 days not only tracks nutrition, which is very important during early child development, but also includes mobile services for growth monitoring, antenatal & postnatal visit reminders, HIV/AIDS lab results delivery, and supply & logistics support for essential medicines. UNICEF believes that this broad approach will improve health outcomes for mothers and children through increased efficiency. The 1000 days product is being built, from the ground up, with interoperability in mind to communicate with external health systems and is powered by RapidSMS.

I’m also thrilled to say that Tobias McNulty, a Caktus co-founder, will be a part of a SwitchPoint panel discussion.  He’ll be speaking about interoperability and RapidSMS, and will join Matt Berg, Dykki Settle, and Karim Sy to discuss Tech Ecosystems for Positive Change: Integration, Catalyzation and Impact. Matt Berg is director of the Modi Research Group’s Africa Lab, Dykki Settle leads IntraHealth and CapacityPlus’s efforts in health workforce informatics, and Karim Sy is the founder of Senegal's Jokkolab, a social change hub and co-working facility. Tobias helps lead our positive social impact efforts here at Caktus and has architected many of our RapidSMS mobile health projects. The panel has a great mix of speakers with diverse backgrounds and I look forward to an excellent discussion.

We are excited to reconnect with everyone and support SwitchPoint again this year. There’s a great lineup of speakers from many diverse organizations, including Medic Mobile, United Nations, IntraHealth, Jokkolab, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and Modi Research Group. See everyone this weekend!

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