South African mobile operator MTN and insurer Sanlam said on Wednesday they have teamed up to offer health services through mobile handsets.
The agreement will enable MTN and Sanlam Health to deliver medical advice to mobile phone users, some of whom may be miles from a hospital or medical facility.
With millions of mobile subscribers in Africa, mobile phones and related devices could play a major role in helping increase access to some healthcare services.
The GSM Association, the global trade association of mobile network operators, said recently that mobile health services such as hotlines could transform healthcare for poor people, just as mobile money is revolutionizing financial services.
The health service will be available from the first quarter of 2011, MTN said in a statement.
Sanlam is South Africa's second-largest insurer.
(Reporting by Gugulakhe Lourie; editing by David Dolan)