Ian Lamont writes "The Industry Standard has reported on a couple of projects that aim to turn the humble mobile phone into a tool that can improve healthcare systems in the developing world. While poor countries lack adequate healthcare facilities, many have booming mobile phone use, even in rural areas. One company spawned by the MIT Media Lab seeks to leverage widespread mobile phone use with a Java app that lets community workers refer patients for treatment, fill out questionnaires about patient health and send real-time information back to doctors at health clinics. Another hardware-focused project started by a group of researchers at UCLA aims to create a device that can be attached to mobile phones and test blood samples for HIV, malaria, and other diseases, and send the test results to a hospital. However, it's not clear whether most mobile phones in developing countries can support these technologies, or if local healthcare infrastructures can effectively use the data generated by mobile phones." Link to Original Source
The best book on programming for the layman is "Alice in Wonderland";
but that's because it's the best book on anything for the layman.