$600K awarded in Vodafone’s Wireless Innovation Project

WINNERS of the 2015 Wireless Innovation Project have envisioned extraordinary applications for wireless technologies in developing countries, which face particularly challenging problems concerning water and health. The competition, sponsored by Vodafone Foundation Americas, awarded $600,000 to three deserving teams.
First prize – and $300,000 – went to The Caltech Sanitation Project, which developed a mobile sanitation system with a self-diagnosis function. Team members were concerned that existing sanitation systems use technologies that often break and the shortage of skilled labour in developing nations makes maintenance difficult if not impossible. Therefore, they decided to create a system that has a self-diagnosis function that alerts maintenance workers to problems and helps them fix it locally.
Second prize – and $200,000 – went to WellDone Mobile International, a company dedicated to providing communities across Africa with sustainable rural wells. They looked to information provided by the Rural Water Supply Network, which shows that 37 per cent of sub-Saharan African wells failed in 2007, resulting in more than $1.2 million of lost investments.
The team will use the prize money to take their initiative to the next level, installing wells that will provide communities with fresh, clean water for the next ten years, at the least.
Third prize – and $100,000 – went to Mobile Stethoscope Diagnostics, which uses mobile technologies to support physicians in India, specifically when testing for pulmonary diseases.
The developers said that there are very few – approximately a dozen – pulmonary testing labs throughout India, which has a population of more than one billion people. Team members hope their tool will help overburdened physicians with quicker, more accurate diagnoses.

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