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Technology for Social Good

By Garima Goswami, 26 Jul, 2016
  • Technology for Social Good

Here is how technology and innovation is playing its part in doing social good

Innovation, start-ups and social investment are abuzz. Consumer awareness on issues pertaining to environmental risks and human rights has triggered an active and unavoidable corporate social responsibility debate that urges combat of risks and hazards. 

M.Paani

An award winning social initiative, M.Paani surfaces the power of technology in a country such as India where the wealthiest and the poorest share a common denominator – a mobile phone. Using mobile technology as an interface, the app provides key products and services to the underserved. It works by allotting points to users as per their mobile phone usage or expenditure which can be monetized for various products and services including water, energy, education and healthcare. This app is currently functioning in Mumbai, India, with plans of expansion in other regions. 

 

Access Earth
 
A user-generated platform providing basic information on accessibility from around the world with its reliable accessibility database on hotels, businesses and restaurants. Designed for the physically challenged, the app aims to demystify overstated accessibility features with reviews from active volunteers.  
 

Vital Patch
 
This tiny disposable biosensor comes from a Silicon Valley start-up, Vital Connect, that monitors patients. It combines features which monitor and record EKG, heart and respiratory rate, skin temperature, and step count for up to four days, and Bluetooth connectivity enables data access for healthcare providers. The device will allow medical practitioners to carefully monitor at-risk patients and provide personalized care in a time-efficient manner. 
 

 

Neopenda

Another wearable vital sign device makes it into our list! Designed to improve survival and health of the newborn in developing countries, Neopenda is a baby hat equipped with sensors that measure heart and respiratory rate, blood oxygen saturation and temperature. Vital data is then transmitted to Neopenda’s custom software alerting health care officials of any emergencies. It is a breakthrough device that has potential to save lives of millions of newborns in the developing world if produced at scale. 

 

Nima

It is claimed to be the fastest gluten tester in the market, giving gluten-sensitive bodies more autonomy. Simply insert a sample of your meal into the one-time-use capsule and in two minutes you would know if there is 20ppm or more of gluten in your meal. It is easy to carry and connected to an application that saves and shares data with other users. 

 

 

Automatic Alternative Text

Automatic Alternative Text (AAT) is an active tool on Facebook that generates description for a photo for the blind and visually impaired users. Prior to the feature being launch, screen readers were in use and these would only announce the name of the person who shared a photo followed by the term “photo.” With AAT, users using screen reads can hear a description of the photo. The feature is presently available on iOS in English but Facebook has made announcements of extending it to other devices and languages.  

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