Twitter-Like Tech For First Responders

Area: Health


Hospitals and First responders tend to have communication problems due to poor connection and surrounding noises at incidence scenes.

Twiage is a web-based app that enables first responders to easily snap and send photos to hospitals, as well as communicate important information regarding patients. This helps hospital better prepare and evaluate situations before patients are transported or before they arrive at the hospital.

In the latest version, the app is connected to Google glasses which makes the process even more user-friendly responders don’t need to use their hands to activate the function. They can easily send photos or messages using a voice-controlled option.


Stakeholders: Hospital / First Responders / Google


  • The company needs to contact hospital that are early adopters of technology to have them try Twiage
  • In parallel, the company needs to start working with major ambulance companies
  • The company should work with Google to help market their product and join they R&D efforts regarding Google glasses


Comment on other technology :

This technology has an interesting feature: the leaves are not static which means that they can get solar rays coming from more directions than regular panels.

Solar-Powered Hearing Aids



1. Sustainability Problem: Health

Approximately 360 million people suffer from hearing loss around the world. In developing countries approximately 32 million hearing aids are needed each year; however, only 750,000 are provided.

2. Technology Summary

  • Solar Ear developed digital hearing aids with rechargeable batteries and has left their designs open-sourced so that the innovation can benefit the largest number of people.
  • The batteries used in Solar Ear’s hearing aids are only 50 cents more expensive than disposable alternatives, but can last up to three years as opposed to 1 week for conventional batteries. Solar Ear’s batteries are also compatible with 95% of all hearing aids.
  • Batteries are charged using a palm-sized solar charger which can also be used to charge cellphones and other electronics
  • The hearing aids cost only about $100 per pair and include batteries and a charger at no additional cost.

3. Stakeholders

  • NGOs and individuals in developing nations
  • The World Health Organization
  • Health Departments and governments in developing nations
  • Low income or uninsured individuals globally

4. Implementation 

  • Develop more manufacturing centers that employ deaf individuals to increase the availability of these hearing aids
  • Partner with NGOs working in developing nations to disseminate the hear-aids and educate those in need of hearing aids
  • Work with other organizations to share the technology, business model and program so that they can develop and disseminate similar hear aids


Comment on Would Your iPhone Survive a Disaster?

The device is based off the technology that is used by FireChat a smartphone app technology that protesters have used when governments limit connectivity. The key difference is that this physical device is much more study than a cellphone. FireChat itself may also be useful to disseminate communications to civilians whose cellphones are able to operate during a disaster in conjunction with this device to communicate to the Red Cross.


A Pill That Won’t Let You Forget To Take It

The Problem

Category: Health

A common issue amongst medical patients with prescribed medications is that they sometimes forget to take their pills or misremember whether they’ve already taken their pill.  This can result in unhealthy medical doses being administered.

 The Tech

Proteus Digital Health has invented a microscopic edible sensor that attaches to pills.  Once the oral pill is swallowed and enters a human’s stomach, it interacts with gastric juices.  This interaction triggers a signal being sent to a wearable patch.

The patch logs the date and time of the signal (which correlates with the digestion of the pill) and some other basic health information that can be transmitted to a mobile device via Bluetooth.

The FDA approved this sensor being attached to Abilify – a long-standing schizophrenia drug – with the new name of Abilify MyCite.  Despite the approval, this new pill is being criticized for its pairing with a drug taken by people already prone to paranoia, hallucinations, delusions, and hearing voices.


Article Title: Experts raise eyebrows at digital pill to monitor patients with schizophrenia
Website: Ars Technica

 The Stakeholders Using The Tech

Medical patients with schizophrenia

Clinical trial participants

Doctors prescribing the pills

Pharmacists fulfilling prescription orders

Friends/Family/Doctors monitoring a loved one’s health


App Developers

The First Three Steps

  1. There’s still work left to be done despite expectations of the new pill hitting the market next year.  First, the Abilify MyCite team needs to ease the public’s concerns around the sensor potentially amplifying Abilify patients’ side effects (i.e. hallucinations & delusions).
  2. They should immediately continue conducting testing and gather data that supports the sensor does in fact increase a patients’ likelihood to remain on their prescribed pill-taking schedule.
  3. They should promote their insights to families and doctors of patients with schizophrenia in order to gain public trust and build up demand for the product.

UNI: gm2778

Comment on Compostable Diapers

“It can take 50-150 days for the diapers to break down – that’s a lot of used diapers on hand at any given time.  Furthermore, you need proper ratios of greens (i.e. grass clippings) to browns (i.e. dried leaves) to help compost the diaper.  I’m skeptical that parents will try this if their own baby’s natural browns can’t be composted, as the article suggests (“do not compost poopy disposable inserts”).”

Next generation disease/cancer detection

1) Sustainability Problem:

Medical technology has made great leaps in disease detection, but proper diagnosis still requires well-equipped labs and significant waiting time. Extended waiting time raises risk factors and allows diseases which could have been caught and addressed earlier to grow to worse problems. In addition the resource and cost barriers to sophisticated labs ensure that not all populations will have equal access to potentially life-saving information at the time when it can be most useful.
New diagnostic technology from QuantuMDx could change that scenario. Their Q-Poc “handheld lab”, the size of a smartphone, can diagnose a range of infectious diseases and cancers in minutes. This can have disproportionate advantages in the developing world where access to infrastructure is a barrier to quality health care.
From article:
Q-Poc differs from most conventional point-of-care diagnostic tools in that it analyses the DNA of pathogens rather than the proteins within the sample. 
This brings us one step closer to the Star Trek medical tricorder.
Category: Health

2) Technology Summary:

Article: This smartphone-sized device can diagnose cancer in 20 minutes
Website: The Guardian
Tags: #health

3) Organizational stakeholders

  1. National health regulators
  2. Hospital & doctors employee advocacy groups
  3. Health insurance companies
  4. Device manufacturer & supporting supply chain

4) Steps in deploying this technology

  1. Ensure the device clears all safety and regulatory trials
  2. Enlist a sales team to sell technology to medical NGO’s and aid orgs in developing world
  3. Establish supply chain and procure initial batch of devices
  4. Train medical professionals on usage of the device.

Related Resources:


Uni: jz2805

Smart Fabrics – no wires or batteries


Sustainability Problem: Real time data on workers, reduce injuries

For first responders information on victims and types of injuries are vital in order to determine the necessary procedures to perform.  As a result, speed is vital and decisions are made in seconds.  Information is not always readily available to first reconsiders  when they arrive to an emergency scene. Every year, thousand of people are misdiagnoses and/or treated incorrectly due to lack of information on the injury and/or the victim’s medical history.

Most smart fabrics are not sustainable because they require electronics and  batteries.


Sustainable Technology: Smart fabric

  • Researchers at the University of Washington developed a smart fabrics that holds magnetize text that can store small amounts of data readable by a magnetometer.
  • The fabric can interact with storage devices without the need for onboard electronics or batteries.
  • Individual’s emergency medical history can be stored on the fabric.
  • First responders can scan a victim’s clothing to gather vital statistics – e.g., blood pressure, heart rate, allergies, etc.
  • This fabric is more sustainable since it doesn’t require any electronics and / or batteries.
  • Fabric maintains magnetic field after washing, drying, and ironing.
  • Fabric can be encoded with security information to access secure locations (e.g., home, office building, etc.. )

Organizational Stakeholders that Will Use the Technology:

  • Researchers at U. of Washington (Justin Chan, graduate student)
  • Prof. Shyam Gollakota, U. of Washington
  • U. of Washington Networks and Mobile System Lab

First 3 Steps in Deploying the Technology:

  • Continue testing fabric and weather proof
  • Increase longevity of magnetic field (declines over the course of a week)
  • Increase data storage capacity.



The technology mentioned below can be used in natural gas / oil pipelines to monitor leaks. Every year, there are thousand of leaks in gas / oil pipelines. The majority of the leaks go undiscovered for days and/or weeks before discovered.

How About Some “Light” Cleaning?

1) Problem: Health

  • Over the years companies have come up with numerous ways to attack the problem of growing bacteria rates with a goal of keeping people and patients healthy. While this has been so, what are the adverse effects of such products and at what cost does their introduction impose on the future health of the planet and the other organisms that inhabit it?

2) Technology:

  • Indigo – Clean has developed technology that uses visible light to disinfect the environment that it is in contact with
  • The technology emits light at the 405 nm range, reflecting off various surfaces and eventually hitting harmful bacteria and micro-organisms
  • The level of light attacks the porphyrins that are present in bacteria and is absorbed, initiating for a process where Reactive Oxygen Molecules are produced and provides a chemical reaction similar to that of bleach
  • From this the bacteria becomes inactive and can no longer replicate

3) Stakeholders:

  • Hospitals
  • Patients
  • Governments
  • People with low immune systems

4) Deployment:

  • Obtain investments to push R&D to increase the range of product for targeting bacteria and scale up operations
  • Initiate government contracts to subsidize the product for widespread distribution
  • Phase out lighting in buildings to prevent infections and sickness both in surgical operations and within homes and workplace

5) Student Comment:

The system is also decentralized, making it possible for each signal to make its own decisions in terms of traffic timing. As said in the articles, traditional models of traffic systems occasionally use older algorithms making them more troublesome in the future when driving patterns have changed yet the light says red for a considerable amount of time. Or the opposite of having no cars on the street yet you need to stop at each light.



Dominic Bell (dlb2189)

Self-Assembling Robots May Not Be Such A Tough Pill To Swallow

The Problem

Category: Health/Energy

While robots continue to create efficiencies in workplace environments, robots are still limited by the need for human intervention such as construction, control, and maintenance.

 The Tech

An MIT computer science team has created a concept called Primer that is a robot that can move on its own, change shape, and even add a robotic exoskeleton to itself.  Right now, the robot is activated by human-controlled magnetic fields until it reaches a given platform.  The platform uses heat to activate the exoskeleton that folds up around the cubed robot.

The creators suggest the mini robots will be able to drill, scoop water, shovel, cut, and grab.  Furthermore, they envision the robots being used by medical professionals who give them to patients in pill-form.  Once consumed, the robots may be able to inject medicine or perform biopsies in humans.


Article Title: Tiny, self-assembling bots will create more work for humans
Website: Ars Technica

 The Stakeholders Using The Tech



Government health regulatory bodies

Medical Insurers

Primer technicians

Primer data analysts

The First Three Steps

  1. The prototype is still human controlled, so the first step is building a second-generation prototype that is autonomous.
  2. Once the prototype can build itself and move on its own, the scientists will need to perform rigorous testing to ensure the robot can perform the desired functions in a desired time frame.
  3. Once the second-generation prototype actually performs functions in a timely fashion, the scientists may want to test it on a live subject (probably a rat).

UNI: gm2778

Comment on Small, Affordable, Smart Multi-Purpose units

“Pretty snazzy.  Not sure how construction permits/property ownership works in Estonia, but I imagine there would be a lot of red tape around getting this type of home approved in the US (unless you already own the land its being constructed on).  In addition to homes, work, school, I can envision this company getting into the event space (weddings in particular).  Anyway, the design is way nicer than any NYC apartment I’ve seen.  For $150k, it might be time to move to Estonia :).”