Top 11 in 2011 Innovation Challenge is an initiative of the mHealth Alliance and funded by the Rockefeller Foundation. Challenge identifies and awards individuals who have used mobile technology in innovative ways to improve health systems and outcomes in even the most remote areas of the world. Projects are considered on the basis of:
- Original – a pioneering new idea or novel use of an existing tool
- Scalable and sustainable
- Potential or demonstrated health impact
- Beneficial or applicable to developing countries
Three innovations from India who made it to the list (announced last month) include:
1. Prof. Ashok Jhunjhunwala for Uniphore’s VoiceNet platform: Personalized Voice based Information Retrieval and Transaction System (PVIT) of mobile phones with authentication and local-language voice-recognition to effectively aid healthcare delivery in India.
Since 1981, Dr. jhunjhunwala has been teaching at IIT Madras, where he leads the Telecommunications and Computer Networks group (TeNeT). This group works with industry in the development of technologies relevant to India. It has incubated over 35 companies in the last twenty years. He chairs Rural Technology and Business Incubator (RTBI) at IIT Madras and Mobile Payment Forum of India (MPFI).
2. Derek Treatman for CommCare-Sense: Localized multimedia to improve quality of care in four districts spanning Uttar Pradesh, Jharkhand, and Rajasthan, India. With support from a team of adept software programmers and field engineers at Dimagi, Derek develops multimedia CommCare applications using locally recorded audio messages and culturally appropriate imagery that are used by community health workers to spread information on maternal and child health in low-literate areas of rural India.
Derek’s experience in information and communication technology, human computer interaction, and medical informatics has driven him to explore methods of information exchange in healthcare using mobile technology that crosses linguistic and cultural barriers.
3. K.S. Shankar for a mother and child tracking system (MCTS), based on SMS technology that provides updates from auxiliary nurse midwives in India.
Mr. Shankar works for Government of Karnataka Government, as Deputy Director in the Demography wing of Health and Family Welfare Department. He has initiated lot of IT activities in the Health department, MCTS being one among them. He has customized the MCTS software according to the state needs with the technical support of NIC, Bangalore. Karnataka state is the only state in India who have brought SMS based Mobile Technology for updating the records of MCTS which gives the real time data on MCTS portal.