UNICEF crowdsources healthtech applications for wearables in underdeveloped countries

Eddie Hold, the NPD Group’s Vice President of Connected Intelligence, has said that 42 percent of fitness tracker owners abandon their wearables after six months.  UNICEF wants entrepreneurs to find ways to recycle those ditched devices into something that can help people in need get away from disaster, disease and death.  Even though some regions of Africa and Asia lack basic necessities like running water,residents of these areas are more likely to own a mobile phone that could easily be paired with or serve as a form of wearable health device.

Among the challenges companies are seeking remedies for in the competition are:

  • a disaster alert system;
  • a diagnostic to non-clinically examine infections;
  • tools to provide access to basic healthcare and nutrition for mothers and children;
  • a system to officially register children even if they are located in remote areas.

The range of wearables designs sought is vast — everything from implants, such as pacemakers, to external wear such as a bracelet or headgear.  There is also interest in devices that are placed near the body and can be attached to clothing.

REFERENCE:  MidCity News; 28 MAY 2015; Nina Ruhe

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