Hope Phones: Recycling Smartphones to Save Lives in Underdeveloped Countries

[blackbirdpie url=”http://twitter.com/#!/HopePhones/status/118750508977623040″]

This tweet brings up a very interesting angle on the mHealth arena.  I have already written a lot about the intense growth of mHealth in underdeveloped areas, and specifically in Africa.  I have made it very clear that mobile phones and the new apps and devices that utilize that will save many lives in these countries where the healthcare is more sparse, and in some cases, nonexistent.

Like most people I have three or four old cellphones floating around my house that get used mostly as toys by my kids.  Hope Phones is trying to put those phones to good use, and prevent them from doing harm to the environment.  The dual benefit nature of their mission is something worth recognizing.

I’m sure it is no surprise to anyone that cellphones are full of chemicals and other things that are bad for the environment.  If we can eliminate even a small percentage of the millions of cell phones going in the garbage then we are having an impact for good.

Maybe more importantly, if we can put those phones in the hands of people that could use them to improve their quality of life then we have done even more good in the world.  It is sad how much stuff in this world gets thrown away that could be used by other people.  It is a trite phrase that, “One man’s trash is another man’s treasure,” but it is anything but trite when you consider that this action could quite literally save someone’s life.

For more information about Hope Phones, and to learn how you can contribute to their cause, please visit their website.