News for May 2009

Hope Phones: 1 week’s trash

The Hope Phones campaign launched last Monday – 8 days ago. Thanks to you (colleagues, friends, family, acquaintances, bloggers, Facebookers, and tweeps) we’ve collected over 700 phones. What impact will this make?

In short, we’ll be able to provide up to 1,400 cell phones for healthcare workers in Malawi, Burundi, Uganda, Honduras, Bangladesh, and Lesotho. Once all 700 phones are processed by our recycling partner, I’ll give you a full breakdown of the phones’ values and which clinics will benefit.

Every phone matters. Each one will give another ~50 families a connection to clinicians and clinic resources. Malawi’s average family size was 5.5 in 2006 — in a little over 1 week, what would have been trash could pull another 385,000 people into FrontlineSMS:Medic programs. Phone donors are doing more good than they know – check out a recent post on TrackerNews: “Phone Riff: Hope Phones, Healthy Texting, Conflict Minerals, Ecological Intelligence, Blue Sweaters and Doing the Right Thing.”

Clinics benefiting thanks to Hope Phones donors

Clinics benefiting thanks to Hope Phones donors

There’s still a lot of work to do, and the Hope Phones campaign isn’t going anywhere. In the 8 days since Hope Phones launched, Americans have discarded more than 3.5 million phones. If we recycle just 0.5% of next week’s phones through Hope Phones, we could provide tools enabling better healthcare for 9.9 million people.

You can help. Just spread the word, and toss your old phones in the mail — one email to friends and family, one tweet, one conversation with a coworker on a lunch break. Check out the map below to track Hope Phones collection sites and partners. Email to get involved. If you’d like to start up a program at your school or workplace, we’d love to hear form you.

Hope Phones collection centers (click to view)
Hope Phones collection centers (click to view)

Thank you to everyone who helped launch this campaign.

Posted: May 26th, 2009
Categories: Other posts
Comments: 13 Comments.

Hope Phones Launches!


FrontlineSMS:Medic today launched and Hope Phones, a nationwide mobile phone collection campaign supporting mHealth programs at medical clinics in over 30 countries. The campaign will make use of old cell phones in the US to provide phones for clinics and healthcare workers in the developing world.

Cell phones are valuable tools in the battle to reduce disease and illness. The field of mHealth – the provision and coordination of health-related services via mobile communications – is blossoming in response to a global shortage of healthcare workers and the demonstrated impact made by simple, mobile tools.

Hope Phones will make use of the nearly 450,000 cell phones discarded every day in the US. allows donors to print a free shipping label and send their old phone in to The Wireless Source, a global leader in wireless device recycling. The phone’s value allows FrontlineSMS:Medic to purchase usable, recycled cell phones for healthcare workers.

Hope Phones lets you give your old cell phone new life on the frontline of global health. Just one, old blackberry will allow FrontlineSMS:Medic to purchase 3-5 cell phones for healthcare workers, bringing another 250 families onto the health grid via SMS.

FrontlineSMS:Medic is an nonprofit organization advancing rural healthcare networks in the developing world through the implementation of sustainable, appropriate technologies delivered through mobile phones. Its first pilot project distributed cell phones to community health workers in 100 rural villages in Malawi, saving thousands of dollars in travel and hospital costs and doubling the number of patients treated for tuberculosis in the catchment area. Stories about FrontlineSMS: Medic projects have been featured in CNN, Discovery Channel news, the BBC, The Guardian, PC World and Reuters.

The organization uses FrontlineSMS, a free, open-source software program that enables large-scale, two-way text messaging using only a laptop, a GSM modem, and cell phones. Their pilot implementation model places a laptop running FrontlineSMS in a central clinic and distributes cell phones to healthcare workers to coordinate care with patients in peripheral villages. Their programs currently serve 1.2 million patients in Malawi and Uganda. Future development of the FrontlineSMS:Medic platform will encompass electronic medical records and diagnostics at the point of care.

Coupled with free, open-source software, the hardware provided through Hope Phones will scale mHealth initiatives, connecting thousands of clinics worldwide to remote healthcare workers and patients. The campaign was designed in partnership with Wieden+Kennedy – the global advertising agency of the year in 2007 and the creator of Nike’s “Just Do It” campaign – with support from and The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation.

Simple ways to help:

1. Visit and donate your old phones.
2. Spread the word!

  • Email your friends, family, classmates and coworkers.
  • Post on Facebook and become a fan of the Hope Phones page.
  • Tell the world on Twitter – use #HopePhones as a tag so we can thank you.
  • Let us know if you want the Hope Phones widget for your website or blog.

3. Contact us at if you’d like to help set up a Hope Phones collection center.

Posted: May 18th, 2009
Categories: Other posts
Comments: 73 Comments. features Medic Mobile

Posted: May 15th, 2009
Categories: Other posts
Comments: 1 Comment.