NAIROBI, 21 December 2010 (IRIN) – It has been a big year for the uptake of new online technologies in emergencies, especially those using mobile money, text messaging (SMS), online mapping and crowd-sourcing. We have also spotted a number of interesting, off-beat and innovative science and technology developments.
Here is a round-up of the year’s most intriguing and important humanitarian technology articles from IRIN.
– Is the humanitarian community ready or able to take up the potential of crowd-sourcing?
– There are so many mobile health initiatives, we rounded up a few of them in December.
– Mobile-phone cameras and barcodes are being used in a Kenyan scheme to insure farmers’ purchases of fertilizer against bad weather. Payouts are made by mobile money.
– Delayed HIV test results can complicate treatment. In remote areas of Mozambique, results are being returned from the laboratory by mobile networks using SMS printers.
– After several false starts, a vaginal gel (or microbicide) to help protect against HIV infection showed promise in trials in South Africa.
– Magnetic resonance sounding is being used to search for underground water in arid eastern Chad.
– Sugar glassification may reduce the need to refrigerate vaccines.
– Could a bio-control method – a “good mould” – reduce poisoning by aflatoxin?
– Sanitary pads made from papyrus in Uganda bolster refugee women’s dignity.
– Kenya’s record in pioneering mobile-powered civic activism continued with two systems using SMS to monitor its referendum vote.
– Genetically-modified mosquitoes are soon to be released in the wild in trials in Asia.
– In September, a two-hour TB test was announced, revolutionizing TB testing, later approved by WHO in December.
Source – IRIN