Crucial Health Tracking Apps Are Failing Women - RightsInfo

Crucial Health Tracking Apps Are Failing Women

High tech apps that allow a user to track diseases such as malaria in developing countries are missing out on a key audience: women. 

A report in the scientific journal Nature has found that while the apps have proven a valuable resource to lessen the strain on healthcare, they are much less likely to be used by women in developing countries.

The report explained that the apps can detect microscopic parasitic infections, with technology that is “rapidly approaching the standard of laboratory-based microscopes”, at a fraction of the cost of the usual medical equipment.

However, the rollout of the tech is being stunted by the low use of mobiles by women in developing countries.

Mobile applications can be a powerful tool to deliver valuable health and sexuality information.

Jessie Clyde, the International Women’s Health Coalition

Access To Technology

Credit: Pexels

According to GSMA, 313 million fewer women than men use mobile internet across low and middle-income countries.

When women do use mobiles, they are even less likely to access services which require mobile data.

Jessie Clyde, a spokesperson for the International Women’s Health Coalition, told RightsInfo that these applications are a “powerful tool” but cannot overcome the entrenched traditions that are held in many of the places where this technology would be most helpful.

Efforts to expand mobile health applications should also include a push to get mobile technology in the hands of more women and girls around the world.

Jessie Clyde, the International Women’s Health Coalition

computer data internet code

Credit: PXHere

“They cannot overcome barriers—including discrimination and violence, legal restrictions, and lack of access to decision-making power—that prevent women and girls from accessing care.”

Clyde added that to ensure that the technology can be used by all, a bigger push needs to be made in female education.

“Efforts to expand mobile health applications should also include a push to get mobile technology in the hands of more women and girls around the world,” Clyde said.

Right To Health

Credit: Jose Luis Pelaez, Inc./Blend Images/Corbis

The right to health is internationally recognised as a fundamental human right.

In 1946, the WHO stated in its constitution that “the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of health is one of the fundamental rights of every human being without distinction of race, religion, political belief, economic or social condition.”

The UN Factsheet on the Right to Health says that the right to health includes access to healthcare and hospitals, as well safe drinking water and sanitation, food and adequate housing – basics which are all necessary.

However, the right to health is not a right to be healthy – that would be impossible for a state to achieve, as it cannot control its citizens’ biological make-up or socio-economic conditions (although it can influence these).

Main image credit: PXHere

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About the Author

Meka Beresford

Freelance News Editor
View all posts by Meka Beresford.
Crucial Health Tracking Apps Are Failing Women
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