MIT Tata Center for Technology + Design was founded in 2012 with funding from Tata Trusts.
Since then the centre has been working to address the challenges of resource-constrained communities, with an initial focus on India. Amongst the many projects that they are working on, this current project seems really interesting and had the ability to scale not just in India but to other emerging markets as well has a chance to become reverse innovation for the developed world.
I am talking about their project “Machine intelligence to enable the next generation of mobile health tools” .
What the MIT team wants to do is elaborated on MIT news website:
Although pulmonary testing equipment such as the body plethysmograph, impulse oscillometer, spirometer, and gas diffusion meter are available in many modern hospitals, this equipment typically costs over $100,000 and is extremely scarce in developing countries.
Fletcher and Chamberlain teamed up with pulmonary experts at the Chest Research Foundation to develop a more general solution for diagnosing pulmonary disease that employs a simple mobile stethoscope and a common peak flow meter, which together cost less than $50 in low volumes. Using a combination of input methods — including the microphone, USB, and augmented reality — they developed a mobile application that is able to reliably capture various data on a mobile phone, and then run machine-learning algorithms to predict the probability that the patient has a specific pulmonary disease.
They initially built the world’s first USB-powered mobile stethoscope collaborating with the Chest Research Foundation in Pune, India. According to the Mobile Health Lab’s website:
Plugged into a smartphone, its companion app transforms the device into a low-cost diagnostic tool, which health workers and nonspecialist physicians can use to diagnose lung disease.
This team won the $100 000 third prize in Vodafone’s 2015 annual Wireless Innovation Project awards program.
This is a a quality, accessible, affordable solution- Meaning a true Frugal Innovation!
Below is a really informative video on how they plan to use new technology to make affordable pulmonary healthcare solutions.