Led by Josh Nesbit, FrontlineSMS:Medic is a pioneer in SMS applications for the humanitarian/global health arena. FrontlineSMS, Ushahidi, and the Department of State (et al.) set up the “4636” number within hours of the Haitian earthquake such that victims could text in their emergencies and concerns, which were distributed to NGO’s, Southern Command, and the Coast Guard (see ReliefWeb’s article).
“Whether sending medical records, mapping health services in real-time, or helping isolated communities stay connected, FrontlineSMS:Medic uses text messages to coordinate health workers around the globe. With 1.2 million patients in Malawi and Uganda, we’re showing that text messages and cheap mobile phones can extend the reach of health workers on the front-lines of global health.”
Frontline SMS is the larger open source project:
“A lack of communication can be a major barrier for grassroots non-governmental organisations (NGOs) working in developing countries. FrontlineSMS is the first text messaging system created exclusively with this problem in mind.
By leveraging basic tools already available to most NGOs — computers and mobile phones — FrontlineSMS enables instantaneous two-way communication on a large scale. It’s easy to implement, simple to operate, and best of all, the software is free. You just pay for the messages you send in the normal way.”