Honoring mHealth’s young talent
Wednesday, June 25, 2014
Two young entrepreneurs are receiving international recognition for mHealth products that aim to improve healthcare delivery in Third World countries.
The two are among five winners of the 2014 Rolex Awards for Enterprise by London’s Royal Society. Named “Young Laureates,” they were chosen by an international jury from more than 1,800 nominees – all under 30 years of age – for “their leadership qualities and in their ability to harness technology in an original way to improve the well-being of the community and the environment, as well as to advance scientific knowledge.”
The two winners illustrate the innovation on display in parts of the world where access to healthcare isn’t a given, and where mHealth can make a profound impact.
Neeti Kailas, 29, of India, is developing a portable device that screen babies for hearing loss in her native country, where some 100,000 hearing-impaired babies are born every year. The battery-operated, non-invasive device uses electrodes placed on the baby’s head to measure auditory brainstem response, determining whether the child can hear.
“(One) of the device’s major advantages over other testing systems is our patented, in-built algorithm that filters out ambient noise from the test signal,” Kailas says in a profile on the Rolex Awards site. “This was really important for us because, if you’ve ever been to health clinics in India, you’ll know how incredibly crowded and noisy they are.”
Kailas and her husband, Nitin Sisodia, have launched the Sohum Innovation Lab, and plan to start clinical trials later this year and launch in 2016. Her goal is to have every child tested in India, and to develop a screening program in the future to test for impaired vision in newborns.