Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Montagenik goes to DC

As I was sitting outside Union station I gazed up at the symmetric of the neo-classical architecture of Union station (and really DC) - and I thought what an ambitious project the USA is. I hope it succeeds. In the blink of an eye I saw a sort of post apocalytptic DC with broken columns and sooty statues. But that was only in my minds eye, not in reality.

I made my way to the World Bank for drinks and mingling at the end of the mHealth policy sessions. Tomorrow is the NIH mHealth summit. I will be talking about some of the work that I did in Malawi. I am very excited to hear what other people are doing in the mobile health space. I just was speaking with someone about authenticating perscription drugs. He told me that 80% of drugs in Nigeria (or Lagos I forget) are counterfeit!!!! That is truly insane. Where is the inflection point, where can you do the most damage control. His company is working on a smart phone verification - similar to the Salta solution, Lian, Breu and I discussed a year and a half ago. However, his solution is a bit more elegant. Rather than a key solution, he just has a scratch off label with a secret code. Good idea!

When distributing bed nets in Nigeria (I think) there was a similar problem with supply chain management. Although, in this case, the problem is with missing bednets, not with counterfeit bednets. The solution is, that at each stage of the supply chain you log how many bednets you have. That way you can track where in the supply chain you are losing the most bed nets.

Now both of these, are social problem, or human problems, although we can use technology as a monitoring agent - to let us know when human processes go ary.

I was also recently reading up on microfinance. I am very interested in expanding mobile technology, and leveraging ecurrencies like mPesa, to set up microfinance, or microloan, operations, and using the social networking enabled by these technologies to build communities around collectives. Again, in my readings, the technology is not really a solution - it is an enabler, an extension of the senses. The technology is not a solution, rather we must get the correct processes in place to enable microfinance, and let technology extend our reach.

This may now sound like drivel. It is because I need to analyze my portfolio after today's apple and after hours fslr performance - ugh - I will be selling calls I think

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