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More than a year in the making – thanks to our dedicated volunteers Don McPhail, Jery Althaf and Aisha Yousuf – the GHTC Young Professionals Project Contest came to life! Our main idea was through this opportunity, to have young professionals from around the world had to work in a team on a solution for a real-life humanitarian problem. And the problem was “Rural District Health Office Data Connectivity and eHealth Record System”

A total of 5 teams entered the final stage and were invited to present their solution to judges at GHTC. While all teams understood very well the technical and financial challenges in establishing good data communications for healthcare professionals, the winning team pointed out “While technical obstacles exist to the successful implementation of this system, public outreach addressing social norms of patient responsibility is paramount to making this project sustainable.” and attempted to address both data connectivity between health centers and patient identification in their solution. The team brought up a key idea that a successful healthcare solution will always require participation of both healthcare practitioners and patients.

Below: Hassaan Idrees, representative of the winning team, received his certificate.
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At the award ceremony, our guest of honour, Timothy Hsiao, from our sponsor US Agency for International Development (USAID), gave the keynote speech on “Open Source Development and New Opportunities for Humanitarian Technologies.” Timothy found the contest to be a very positive way to get young people involved in addressing real humanitarian issues. For GHTC, the support from USAID is simply a great gift. 

Below: Timothy Hsiao speaking about USAID
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Most of us may know very little about what USAID truly does, so Timothy’s presence and presentation really opened our eyes. According to him, going foward, through an open source platform, USAID plans to focus on:
Delivering results on a meaningful scale through a strengthened USAID
Promoting sustainable development through high-impact partnerships
Identifying and scaling up innovative, breakthrough solutions to intractable development challenges

Particularly, the transformative power of science and technology will be used to deliver more effective, cost-efficient results in global development. Indeed money alone cannot solve humanitarian problems. Science and technology have the potential to help create feasible solutions and make the world a better place for everyone.

Overall, the Young Professionals Project Contest is a very successful pilot contest for GHTC 2013. Having Timothy to speak to us was a bonus. We hope this contest has inspired more young people to get involved in developing humanitarian technologies and get a better understanding of humanitarian work implementation.

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Finalist – Edupad: A tablet based educational system for improving adult literacy in India

Finalist – automobile Safety using Smart Phone

2nd place – Efficient Production of tactile text books for blind students

2nd place – Tropical storm Wind Turbine

1st place – Wound Pump

Check out the GHTC blog for more details of these projects HERE

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Kimroy Bailey presenting his work on tropical storm wind turbine.

Tropical Strom Wind Turbine

By Kimroy Bailey. University of Technology, Jamaica.

Grown up in Jamaica, he had a motivation to be able to provide electricity in a sustainable manner. However, the wind turbine doesn’t work in tropical storm because the conventional wind turbine only has one controller. He suggests building three different controllers on three blades of the turbine. The controller was developed with MATLab Sumilator. The physical platform was developed cheaply using wind, bamboo, Styrofoam and acrylic – this design was used to develop the system, because the conventional model costs about $300. The system is also adaptable for varied wind speeds as well, with the same mechanism in the conventional method. The tropical storm happens 80 times annually which can produce 290 hours of electricity continuously, and therefore, the impact would be very big.

Automobile Safety Using Smart Phone

By Kiran Rajmohan. College of Engineering, Trivandrum, Kerala, India.

Medical assistance for car accident is delayed because the report is delayed. This invention is to automatically request emergency medical assistance using Smartphone. The system consists of three sub system of vehicles, smartphone and cloud server. For the use in developing countries, accelerometer will be used. The system also takes care of a situation of broken phones in the accident, using the frequency and other factors.

Wound Pump

By Danielle Zurovcik. MIT

Negative pressure wound therapy is used for wound healing and wound bed preparation. It stimulates wound healing process by keeping the wound moist. The current technology costs about $20,000 and also other designs were done for developing countries. However, this new design we are proposing is much cheaper, less than three dollars. The wound pump is made of sNPWT Bellows Pump, and dressing was analyzed and studied in details. It was used in Haiti after the earthquake occurred there as well as Rwanda, and it was proved there that dressing development was necessary. She is considering the dissemination of the technology through WiCare.

Edupad: A Tablet Based Educational System for Improving Adult Literacy in India

By Ananthakirshnan. Amrita Vishwa Vidyaoeetham University, Kerala, India.

The problem definition and motivation is a large adult illiteracy in India. The proposal is the tablet based educational system called EduPad, which teaches alphabets, words and sentence construction. The EduPad is an Android based tablet, which has one-dedicated application. The original feature of the system is that the system receives inputs from the users and improves the system. The illustration of alphabets is given at the beginning, and then the stage where users can practice comes afterwards. The survey was conducted in rural areas of India, with the demonstration of EduPad.

Efficient Production of Tactile Text Books for Blind Students

By Josh Scotland. University of Washington.

The purpose is to produce tactile graphic for blind students. The system breaks texts into three different components and converts texts into brail. Translating input image into feature image will use machine learning. The invention is the automated scanning system to produce tactile graphics. It is a system much cheaper than the conventional scanning program.

Personal Comments:

I really enjoyed learning about the other students working on these exciting projects around the world. I hope to submit the poster on my project next year as well!

Judges and Poster Competition Finalists

Judges and Poster Competition Finalists

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Student Poster Competition still going on. HAPPY went to check out all the 5 posters. http://www.ieeeghtc.org/student-central/student-poster-contest-2012/top-final-posters/ Have you casted your ballot yet?

Efficient Production of tactile text books for blind students

Tropical Storm Wind Turbine

Automobile Safety using Smart Phone

Edupad: A tablet based educational system for improving adult literacy in India

Wound Pump

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Did you vote yet?

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