Indian tech-for-good ventures you should know about
By: Prasidhi Somani
Published On: May 24, 2018
When the whole world is running behind building companies and products, there are a few change makers and entrepreneurs who care less about receiving the spotlight are working to solve crucial social problems.
Tech-for-good has in recent years seen the best minds, from the best institutes come forward to build sustaining and innovative solutions to some pressing social problems.
Here’s a look at some emerging tech-for-good ventures and how they are making a difference:
1. DROR, the women safety app: The DROR app is a community based everyday women’s safety app. This app will not only provide help to females in distress but provide everyday safety features like community-based distress management, localized support, finding safe zones, smart tracking for safe commutes, reporting a crime and helping others victims too.
The co-founder Bhavna Arora left her banking job to dedicate full time to this cause. For over an year she has been working in researching about crimes against women and meeting security and tech experts to formalize a feasible and scalable idea which can be implemented immediately for improving women safety.
2. mGuru mobile learning app: A graduate from Stanford University with a major in Public policy and minor in Computer science, Adam Khorakiwala founded this app after he came across the grim Annual Status of Education Report (ASER) 2014, which stated that only one in every four class five students can read basic English sentences.
After getting his degree Adam returned to India with the idea to use mobile technology to enhance learning. This mobile learning app is for K-5 students focusing mainly on English and Math. The app provides an interactive learning journey for the children with the help of activities, stories, videos, games and more.
3. Cashless Any Time Milk (ATM) machine: Nilesh Gussar, a Class XI dropout from Gujarat developed a Milk dispensing machine in order to eliminate middlemen because when the marginal farmers sell their produce to them, they do not get justified returns. The ATM users have three options while using the machine – username and password, a prepaid card or biometric fingerprinting.
Apart from Gujarat, five such cashless machines have been assembled and shipped to his clients in Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu, and Odisha. The cost of these machines ranges from Rs 75,000 to Rs 1.5 Lakh based on the capacity of the machine which is between 50 litres to 250 litres. Beside having battery backup in case of power failure, the machine also has refrigeration options.
4. VIRAT, the first pocket sized ventilator: A Neurosurgeon, Dr. Deepak Agarwal of AIIMS and Diwakar Vaish, a 25 years old robotic engineer have invented the world’s most pocket-friendly ventilator. The ventilator can be controlled from an Android app and uses Artificial Intelligence (AI) algorithm to restore the normal breathing pattern and control air supply of the patient and is almost 450 times smaller than a conventional ventilator.
It costs below Rs 25,000 with no operating cost and a lifespan of 4 weeks. The ventilator works by pushing the atmospheric into the lungs of the patients who cannot breath on their own. The device synchronizes ventilator air support with the normal breathing pattern. This invention can prove to be very helpful for the rural population as it comes with an additional battery for 12 hours.
5. Silent heart attack detection device: Akash Manoj, a tenth class student from Tamil Nadu has developed a device that can predict silent heart attacks. Silent heart attacks are very deadly and common these days. Almost no symptoms are are evident thus giving an illusion of normalcy. The skin patch invented by Akash has to be attached to the wrist or back of the ear.
It will release a small electrical impulse which will attract a negatively charged protein released by the heart called FABP3 to signal a heart attack. If the quantity of the protein is high, the person must seek immediate medical attention.
6. ERC eyecare: Getting a basic eye check and a pair of glasses might be easier for someone who has an easy access to products and services, it does not remain so for a person in rural area who has to travel several kilometers, losing a day’s wage in the process and incurring extra travel and food cost and then access eye care in the city, paying at par with the urban customers which in most cases become unaffordable to him.
ERC focuses on providing affordable eye care in an accessible manner. It provides eye care services and consultation at Rs 50 and optical services starting at Rs 99. Cataract surgeries are done at a nominal rate of Rs 3500. This is the brainchild of Dr. Parveez Ubed, a Ophthalmologist from Assam.
7. Bempu: Bempu’s vision is for all children to have the chance to live full and healthy lives. To achieve this Bempu offers life saving products for children in low-resources area. The Bempu bracelet alerts the parents in the event of a Neonatal Hypothermia through an intuitive audio-visual alarm. It helps babies maintain their body temperature and gain healthy weight in the first month which leads to better development and even IQ later in their life.
Ratul Narain founded this life giving bracelet in 2013. He has a Bachelor’s in Biochemical Engineering and masters in Mechanical Engineering from Stanford.