For some time we’ve been talking about the mobility boom. This trend is only set to continue. According to Statista, the number of global smartphone users is likely to surpass five billion by 2019. With this mobile explosion showing no signs of slowing down, there is no doubt that mobile technologies will continue to have a massive impact on society. Such innovations have changed the way we communicate, work and transact. The rise of mobility has some rather profound implications for wide range of people and businesses across all industries.
As mobile devices become more affordable and reliable network coverage becomes the norm, these tools have the potential to bridge gaps and provide solutions to people who may not have been able to access them in the past.
Below are a few examples.
Mobility in healthcare: A truly inspiring local example, the team behind the Vula app created a solution that empowers mobile health workers. Vula was originally used solely by healthcare workers in remote areas to assess an individual’s eyesight by allowing them to take photographs of a patient’s eyes and send them through to a specialist for immediate assessment. Today however, the app offers access to nine different types of specialists, from neurosurgeons and gynaecologists to ENTs and peadeatricians.
Mobility in finance: Within the finance space, mobile technology is driving development for rural communities. Take an example like M-PESA, the world’s first text-based mobile money service, which was designed to meet the needs of a largely unbanked population. Users simply need a special SIM card, inserted into a mobile phone to make use of the service. Once plugged into a device and loaded with airtime, M-PESA allows users to open a bank account, transfer money, and buy and exchange airtime with their friends, all via a simple text message.
Mobility in retail: Mobile technology has completely changed the retail landscape. Tictail is a digital social marketplace for independent brands from over 140 countries. The application allows anyone to start their own online shop and enjoy sales and market access through a digital platform. The application makes it possible for shoppers to explore up-and-coming brands from around the world through a device in the palm of their hand. Mobile e-commerce innovations such as Tictail have revolutionised the global retail space. Geographical limitations are no longer an issue. Small retail outlets, previously limited by capital resources do not have to splurge on floorspace rent. They have access to a global market through their everyday mobile device.
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