About this paper

Appears in:
Pages: 2306-2315
Publication year: 2012
ISBN: 978-84-615-5563-5
ISSN: 2340-1079

Conference name: 6th International Technology, Education and Development Conference
Dates: 5-7 March, 2012
Location: Valencia, Spain


R. Motwani

Oracle Corporation (UNITED STATES)
A 2005 London Business School study of 92 countries showed that an increase in 10 mobile phones per 100 people could increase GDP growth by 0.6%. Similarly, McKinsey & Co – based on market research in China, India and the Philippines found that raising wireless penetration by 10% can lead to an increase in GDP of about 0.5% - this equated to $12 billion for an economy the size of China! This session highlights how one could get innovative in increasing not only the much talked about GDP of emerging economies by leveraging the advancements in mobile technologies, but also improvise commerce, education, healthcare and other other services in the rural economies.

Today most non-literate mobile users ignore the screen when using a mobile phone. Instead of engaging with the UI on the screen, participants engage with the physical interface of the phone. They leverage their spatial memory and gestures by memorizing patterns (i.e., pressing a button three times, remembering the patterns of numbers) or ask for assistance in dialing a number from a family member. And there is a big community of such kind of mobile users today. When these mobile users need assistance in simple tasks such as phone dialing, how could we expect them to be excited to access the vast pool of information and data on the world wide web without the need of support from some literate or more mobile savvy family member or friend? Accessing Internet or a lesson to learn the basic concepts of Math in a language of their choice from an online tutor, could be as simple as pressing a button that launches the respective application. Well, this is more than a magic for the illiterate population, they are now getting means to get out of the dark of the literacy at the simple touch of a button and a little dedication.

Here is an example of how health care services can be modernized through innovations in mobile phone technologies. Health care in general across the globe is a privilege for rich and wealthy due to the lack of experienced medical professionals or due to corrupt governance policies. This problem is even more grave when it comes to villages or remote areas. Taking India as an example here - a large majority of India's population (nearly 72 percent) still lives in villages, where health care facilities are either unavailable or are below the acceptable standards. Most specialists are unwilling to practise in rural areas. According to statistics, 80 percent of doctors in India, 75 percent of dispensaries and 60 percent of hospitals, are situated in urban areas. How could technology help improve the situation here? Today, mobile phones are equipped with sensors - which could be used as remote monitoring tools and the measurements they generate could be relayed through the phone network for remote communication to a medical professional unwilling to travel to a rural area. As an example, the information about the speed of rotation of the patient's arm or leg measured through a mobile phone accelerometer, and the respective heart rate measured through another tool, could be relayed to a doctor monitoring the patient remotely. Advancements in mobile technologies can make this information capture and relay process as simple as pressing a button on the phone tied to patient's arm or leg.

In a nutshell, there are several innovative usages of mobile technologies that can help improve commerce, education, health care and other areas - for the greater good of mankind!
author = {Motwani, R.},
series = {6th International Technology, Education and Development Conference},
booktitle = {INTED2012 Proceedings},
isbn = {978-84-615-5563-5},
issn = {2340-1079},
publisher = {IATED},
location = {Valencia, Spain},
month = {5-7 March, 2012},
year = {2012},
pages = {2306-2315}}
AU - R. Motwani
SN - 978-84-615-5563-5/2340-1079
PY - 2012
Y1 - 5-7 March, 2012
CI - Valencia, Spain
JO - 6th International Technology, Education and Development Conference
JA - INTED2012 Proceedings
SP - 2306
EP - 2315
ER -
R. Motwani (2012) INNOVATING THE RURAL ECONOMIES WITH MOBILE INNOVATION, INTED2012 Proceedings, pp. 2306-2315.