Revolutionizing global health
Tuesday, May 2, 2017
MIT research scientist Richard Fletcher directs the Mobile Technology Group at MIT D-Lab, which develops a variety of mobile sensors, analytic tools, and diagnostic algorithms to study problems in global health and behavior medicine. Utilizing mobile technologies — which include smartphones, wearable sensors, and the so-called internet of things — his group applies these technologies to real-world social problems with global implications. These issues involve a variety of areas, such as environmental monitoring and air pollution, agriculture, farming, and global health.
Fletcher notes that public health is of enormous importance and includes a wide range of diseases and conditions. His work at D-Lab has a myriad of applications: Sometimes this means simply doing better point-of-care diagnosis of acute or chronic diseases; other times, the focus is on screening and identifying those who are sick but don’t realize it. “For example, consider the fact that every two minutes around the world a woman dies in childbirth. This is something that is for the most part preventable if problems can be detected ahead of time,” Fletcher says.
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