Winners of Vodafone Awards Showcase mHealth Innovations

Posted by AnneryanHeatwole on Apr 14, 2011

On Monday, Vodafone and the mHeatlh Alliance announced the winners of the Vodafone Americas Foundation Wireless Innovation Project and the mHealth Alliance Award. Although all three winning projects focus on health applications of mobile technology, each project has an entirely different focus: in first place, NETRA uses a clip-on device for mobile phones to quickly diagnose eye disorders; in second place, SMART Diaphragm monitors high-risk pregnancies by wirelessly transmitting information to physicians; and in third place is Cool Comply, a system designed for community health workers to keep medications cool and to allow them to stay in contact with patients. Winners will accept their awards today, April 14th, at the Global Philanthropy Forum conference in Redwood, California.

Check out the winners and judges (including’s Katrin Verclas) talking about the contest and projects in this video:

Vodafone Wireless Innovation Project 2011 from Daniel Mahoney on Vimeo.

Want to know more about NETRA, Smart Diaphragm, and Cool Comply?

NETRA: Thanks to an attachable $2 eye piece designed to fit over a mobile phone, NETRA allows users to diagnose eye disorders (such as refractive errors and cataracts) at a local level. Users look through the attached eye piece and click through a series of patterns until they are clear; the number of clicks indicates the refractive error. The information is then transmitted from the mobile phone to an optometrist. Designed by a team from the MIT Media Lab, NETRA won first place and $300,000 to continue the development and deployment of their project.

Smart Diaphragm: Early diagnosis is key to preventing many causes of miscarriage in pregnant women. Smart Diaphragm is a monitoring and early warning system that monitors decreasing levels of collagen in the cervix (which could indicate problems in high-risk pregnancies). The data is transmitted to a cloud database so that physicians can quickly see signs of trouble. Smart Diaphragm (developed by researchers at the University of California, San Francisco) won $200,000 from the Vodafone Americas Foundation and an additional $50,000 in mHealth Alliance Award benefits.

Cool Comply: Keeping medications stored at an optimal temperature can be difficult, but many medications lose efficacy if kept at too high or too low of a temperature. Cool Comply is working to solve this problem through a solar-powered refrigeration device used to store and track usage of medication. Specifically developed for patients with Multiple Drug Resistant Tuberculosis (MDR-TB), Cool Comply uses wireless technology to relay readings to the local healthcare workers so that they can easily monitor their patients. The project was developed in a partnership by the Massachusetts General Hospital, Innovations in International Health at MIT, and the Global Health Committee, and received $100,000 in prize money.

Image via NETRA webpage

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