Cloudy With a Chance of Pain

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Sources:

https://www.theguardian.com/sustainable-business/2016/may/17/from-app-doctors-to-big-data-five-ways-tech-will-shape-healthcare

https://cloudywithachanceofpain.com/the-project

Sustainability Problem:

Good health and well-being for all is goal #3 of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Technology will continue to play a greater role in tracking, preventing and curing diseases.  Understanding the correlations between environmental conditions and the effect on health can help to achieve this goal.

Technology:

Cloudy with a Chance of Pain is a project sponsored by Arthritis Research UK that is collecting data to analyze correlations among weather and sources of chronic pain. Participants 17 and older living in the UK that have arthritis or other forms of chronic pain download app that tracks daily symptoms and the weather. The dataset is publicly available for research and the public is invited to submit ideas based on their data analysis.

Stakeholders:

  • Medical professionals
  • Patients
  • Scientists/Medical Researchers
  • App developers

Implementation:

  • Participants download the app and track their symptoms for 6 months
  • App will capture the weather data
  • Researchers and participants will have access to the data to detect patterns between symptoms and the weather

This specific app is focused on Arthritis Research in the UK but similar technology could be applied broadly to track and analyze correlations with weather/climate conditions and other health concerns, such as air quality and respiratory conditions.

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View of the data – allows you to drill down into a specific symptom to look for patterns

Osmotic Power: A new source of clean energy

Sustainability Problem

The impacts of climate change are clearly visible in this day and age. Rising temperatures as a result of CO2 emissions from fossil fuels such as oil, coal and natural gas will only add to this problem.

Sustainable Technology

Researchers have developed a system that generates electricity from osmosis with unparalleled efficiency using seawater, fresh water, and a new type of membrane just 3 atoms thick.  A 1 m² membrane with 30% of its surface covered by nanopores should be able to produce 1MW of electricity. This is enough to power 50,000 standard energy-saving light bulbs.

Stakeholders

  • Investors
  • NGO’s
  • Electricity generation companies
  • Government

Implementation

  1. The effectiveness of this clean energy method has only been implemented on a small scale. The next phase would be to identify potential investors by attending energy efficient conferences.
  2. Identify a electricity generation company that is transition towards the usage of clean energy. Conduct a 6 month trial period during which time staff go the electricity generation company are trained. Provide workshops to further educate the employees in the company.
  3. Once the effectiveness of osmotic power as a means of clean energy is more apparent to the general public, continue to seek out more investors to increase large-scale implementation.

Reference

https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2016/07/160713143004.htm

Taking the Sting out of Beekeeping

Sustainability Problem:

Apiary Inspectors of America survey shows that US beekeepers lost 42 percent of their honeybees from April 2014 to April 2015. The decline of bees threatens our food production. As well, colony losses pose significant economic threats to the livelihood of beekeepers. 

Technology: 

iBuzzHive is a 3-D printed wooden beehive that has sensors and high definition video camera with an app for remote monitoring of bee health and growth of colonies. Urban beekepers can monitor their bee colonies using IoT technology in a non-invasive way.

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Using wifi, the BuzzCloud App monitors tells surrounding temperature, humidity,  number of bees in colony and other data to show the overall condition of the hive’s health.

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This technology would be great for the resurgence of interest in urban beekeeping.

Sources:

http://www.treehugger.com/gadgets/buzzcloud-urban-beekeeping-ibuzzhive.html

http://www.treehugger.com/sustainable-agriculture/us-beekeepers-lost-almost-half-their-honeybees-2014-15.html

Stakeholders:

  • beekeepers especially urban beekeepers
  • interested government organizations such as US Department of Agriculture and Apiary Inspector of America
  • interested non-profit organizations such as Bee Informed Partnership
  • investors and general public who can help with funding
  • agriculturists who depend on pollination for food production

Implementation:

  1. This technology is at its early stage. BuzzCloud project team will turn to crowdfunding to launch the product once the prices and specs have been nailed down
  2. After launching, mass production of iBuzzHive and App would lower the cost and make excellent value for investor .
  3. Next steps include re-assessment of the effectiveness of this technology and its impact to the beekeeping industry.

Smart hydration

1. Problem: Health & Safety

Individuals require vastly different amounts of water each day depending on their age, activity level, size and other factors such as pregnancy/medical conditions. This makes providing accurate recommendations to individuals difficult.
2. Pryme Vessyl prymeVessyl smart cups link biological data (age, weight, height, etc.) with data generated by fitness trackers to determine how much water a person should drink and when.
– The cup is outfitted with sensors that detect how much you’re drinking.
– If you aren’t drinking enough water, the cup will ping you.
– This solution may prove especially useful for athletes, pregnant/nursing women and others who require more hydration than the average person.
3. Stakeholders
– Athletes/athletic organizations
– The medical community
– Pryme (the manufacturers of Vessyl)
4. Implementation
– Target advertising of the device towards athletic societies, organizations and teams.
– Perform research on hydration needs associated with certain medical conditions.
– Develop compatibility with FitBit (currently only available for Apple Health and Jawbone)

New technology removes air pollutants, may reduce energy use in animal agricultural facilities

Sustainability Problem:

The increase in pollution has increased the need to produce food to sustain this growth. Growing livestock produces high levels of ammonia concentration in the barns. This has a negative impact on the quality of the air in the vicinity of the farm.

Technology:

  1. Ammonia polluted air enters the biofilter.
  2. There is also a heat exchanger that captures some of the heat and transfers it back into the barn along with fresh air.
  3. The prototype has been proven successful in a farm with 5,000 chickens.

Stakeholders:

  • Farmers
  • People living around farm land

Steps for deployment:

  • Start by deploying technology is farms with more than 5,000 chickens
  • Approach national brands, because they have resources to implement technology

Reference:

https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/01/120104115057.htm

The World’s First Molecular Air Purifier

Sustainability Problem:

Air pollutants are trapped indoors. Poor air quality can cause headaches, fatigue, nausea, congestion and worsen asthma and allergies. Most HEPA filters trap but do not destroy air pollutants such as mold, bacteria, viruses, allergens and VOCs (Volatile Organic Compounds). 

 

MolekulePhoto Credit: Molekule

Technology: 

Molekule device is billed as the  the world’s first molecular air filter. Using Photoelectrochemical Oxidation (PECO), the air purifier breaks down pollutants extremely quickly and said to destroy them up to 1000 times smaller than what a HEPA filter can. According to Molekule, the company that developed this product, PECO is “a type of oxidation process that works by shining light on an electrochemical cell in order to generate a chemical reaction that break down pollutants”.  

Source: http://www.treehugger.com/gadgets/molekule-air-purifier-breaks-down-air-pollutants-molecular-level.html

Stakeholders:

  • Molekule Company, the developer of Molekule Air Purifier
  • general public especially people with asthma and allergies
  • researchers
  • investors

Implementation: 

  1. Extensive testing of the product by independent labs to verify that Molekule byproducts are completely harmless elements that normally exist in clean air , and that air pollutants aren’t trapped in the filter ensuring that only clean air is released back into the area.
  2. Public launching of the Molekule with an offering of early bird-price of $499 (future retail price is $799). 
  3. Future price may be too high for the general public. Further research on reducing the cost should be done so this product can be more attractive to the general public.  

Solar tents to preserve fish in Malawi

1) Energy

Problem: In Malawi, drying fish is currently achieved by chopping down trees and burning the logs, which simultaneously removes a carbon sink and produces additional carbon emissions. 

2)  The technology: solar tents: http://www.aljazeera.com/news/2016/06/tech-solar-tent-boosts-malawis-dried-fish-industry-160609125320780.html

– A new “solar tent” allows fisherman to dry their fish only using only solar energy.

– A polyethylene sheet is hung over a wooden frame shaped so as to maximize the captured solar heat and ensure optimal airflow.

– The tent is more sanitary than the wood-burning open-air drying, which exposes the fish to dust, pests and contaminants. Fishermen thus lose fewer fish to spoilage.

– Farmers get a higher price for cleaner, higher quality dried fish and don’t need to cut down as many trees (just enough for the wooden frame, which can be used for years).

– Sustainability is paired with economic development.

3)   Stakeholders

– Local and international development NGOs

Fish buyers

–  Local councils in fishing communities

 Fishermen

4)   The first 3 steps in deploying this technology

  1. Perform research to compare economic and environmental impacts of an average wood-burning fishery compared to a solar tent fishery based on the pilot project.
  2. Identify fishermen using wood-burning strategies and gauge interest in solar tents.
  3. Solicit funding from local and international NGOs to provide credit and/or grants to build tents for interested fishermen.