PathVis is a clever smartphone-based detection platform built to directly detect and help track infectious diseases afflicting over 250 million people world-wide. It has breakthrough technology that’s able to get results in less than 30 minutes, which can provide health organisations with real-time data to decrease costs and increase efficiency in identifying outbreaks and preventing further spread of disease.
Now, it has just won the first prize in Vodafone Americas Foundation’s ninth annual Wireless Innovation Project (WIP), a competition for life-changing connected innovations addressing critical issues facing the world today. PathVis will be awarded the $300,000 first place prize. It plans to leverage the winnings to specifically fight against cholera; a highly infectious disease affecting roughly 1.3 to 4 million people each year, resulting in 21,000 to 143,000 deaths worldwide.
Since launching in 2009, the Vodafone Americas Foundation WIP has awarded $5.5 million to scalable solutions focused on “Connecting for Good” that help solve critical issues around the world. WIP-supported innovations have directly impacted over 40 million individual lives across more than 40 countries, underscoring the Foundation’s commitment to fostering social change. In addition to grant funds, WIP recipients receive support and guidance to advance their solutions to reach the global marketplace.
Second place with the prize of $200,000 went to WIPER, a wireless anti-poaching collar for elephants and other animals across Africa. It uniquely combines tracking and gunshot detection technology to automatically send the location of poaching events to authorities in real time. WIPER hopes to be a strong asset in combating poaching, saving the rapidly declining elephant and rhino populations.
Sadly, the African elephant population has decreased by 20 percent over the past 10 years, because of illegal poaching. While the rhino population has plummeted more than 97 percent since 1960. WIPER can disrupt poaching and prevent irreparable damages to the environmental ecosystem through pioneering ballistic shockwave detection, a tool that cannot be tricked by gun mufflers regularly used by poachers.
DreamSave, an innovative mobile solution to help millions of unbanked members of informal savings groups around the world break the cycle of poverty, secured third place. It won $100,000 and aims to give people who are invisible to the global economy, direct access to a wide range of modern financial services, even if they live miles from the nearest bank. DreamSave will leverage mobile money integration, machine learning, behavioral science and ground breaking new technology optimized for remote areas with limited internet access. By designing DreamSave as part of a broader digitally-connected community, users will also have access to a wide range of related services, unlocking their potential to create lasting social and economic change.
PathVis, WIPER and DreamSave represent the vast possibilities that technology can bring to solving critical issues such as diseases, wildlife and financial inclusion. This year’s winners to continue the program’s reputation of honoring promising wireless and mobile innovations designed to impact the global community.
Photo Credit: Vodafone WIP