Infosys Foundation has identified winners of the Aarohan Social Innovation Awards 2019 across four award categories: Healthcare, Rural Development, Destitute Care and Sustainability. The winners were selected from a pool of more than 1700 submissions by a distinguished jury comprising Prof. Trilochan Sastry, former Dean, IIM Bangalore; Padma Shree Mr. Arvind Gupta, an Indian toy inventor and science expert; Prof. Anil Gupta, visiting faculty member, IIM Ahmedabad, a globally renowned scholar of grassroots innovations and founder of the Honey Bee Network; Prof. GVV Sharma, Faculty member of the Department of Electrical Engineering and Coordinator, Teaching Learning Centre, IIT Hyderabad; Mr. Sumit Virmani, Chief Marketing Officer, Infosys, and Mrs. Sudha Murty, Chairperson- Infosys Foundation, renowned author and philanthropist.
Dr. Binita S. Tunga and Dr. Rashbehari Tunga
Innovation: Single device for detection of the three most prevalent mosquito-borne diseases
The similarity of symptoms of Dengue, Chikungunya, and Malaria leads to improper diagnosis, inaccurate early-stage diagnosis along with undetected co-infections. ASSURED is an affordable, user- friendly and and equipment free single device for detection of Dengue, Chikungunya, and Malaria on the first day of symptom. It is highly sensitive and 100 percent specific, which minimizes error and can detect co-infections easily.
Partha Pratim Das Mahapatra
Innovation: Portable device to measure levels of bilirubin, oxygen saturation, and haemoglobin
A non-invasive, non-contact, robust and portable hand-held device for accurate measurement of levels of hemoglobin, bilirubin and oxygen saturation without taking blood from the human body. It makes a qualitative and quantitative measurement within 0.5 seconds, which includes the entire process time of data acquisition, measurement, and notification to the end-user. All these three measurements happen in a single step with a completely affordable and accessible approach.
Foundation for Tuberculosis Malnutrition and AIDS
Innovation: Development and validation of rapid tests for diagnosis of TB through urine
In India, there are roughly 2.6 million prevalent TB cases (incidence rate of 171 cases /100,000 ). Traditional TB Diagnosis includes sputum examination, the culture of sputum or other bodily fluids, the tuberculin skin test and radiology and is either insensitive or time-consuming. This rapid test developed by TUMAAS however, is user-friendly, cost-effective, and is a point-of-care test, which can be performed anywhere.
Rashid K, Vimal Govind MK, and Nikhil NP
Innovation: Bandicoot – The World’s 1st Manhole cleaning robot
Bandicoot, the world’s first manhole cleaning robot, solves the ancient problem of manual scavenging, a social evil, and can prove lethal for the people involved in it. The Manual Scavengers Act, 2013 has banned anyone from employing people to clean sewers. This robot eliminates the requirement of human entry in the manhole by using advance robotics in combination with AI and Machine Learning which helps in making the system easy to use so that the same manual scavengers use it and have a chance to live a safe and dignified life as Robot operator.
Innovation: Affordable standing wheelchair that helps special children and individuals with spinal cord injury
Any person with a spinal cord injury has to stand for 45 minutes twice a day. A physically challenged person while in hospital has access to standing devices. Once discharged, they use a normal wheelchair and is not always able to undergo standing therapy. Electronic standing wheelchairs cost between INR 4 lakh to INR 10 lakh, which is not affordable for everyone. This standing wheelchair built at the cost of INR 15,000 uses pneumatic spring for the transition from sitting to standing position. The system consists of a self-locking mechanism by which the frame can stand still at a given position.
Dr. Vishal US Rao and Shashank Mahesh
Innovation: Aum voice prosthesis
Speech and communication in our society is one of the basic needs of sustenance. Aum voice prosthesis is speaking device invented to help throat cancer patients who have lost their voice box to help them speak again. These patients were bereft of this essential means of communication due to cost constraints. This device helps people regain their voice and helps them lead normal lives to a large extent.
Innovation: Low-cost Onion storage
Onion is an extremely perishable vegetable, as it contains a high moisture content and during the rainy season, extreme humidity can cause onions to rot easily. This low-cost onion storage can preserve onions for the entire duration of the monsoons, and can continue supply at low cost. This model provides the required ventilation through an exhaust fan to cover the entire storage and temperature is regulated with halogen bulbs. This innovation reduces wastage to less than 5-10 percent.
Innovation: MASC-KAFO: Mechanically actuated stance controlled knee ankle foot orthosis.
There is a need for a corrective and assistive device for the patients who face difficulties in locomotion, including the elderly and people with multiple sclerosis, muscular dystrophy, polio, among other ailments. This mechanically activated stance controlled knee ankle foot orthosis (MASC-KAFO) has been designed to provide improved gait for people with knee-extensor weakness.
Innovation: TJay Wearable device for neurological and mental health disorders
Epilepsy is among the most common neurological disorders in the world. Today, many people with epilepsy live in developing countries without proper access to healthcare professionals and diagnostic equipment like EEG. TJay, an IoT/AI powered smart glove provides predictions about an epileptic attack. It helps users understand their seizures better and healthcare professionals to make faster data-driven diagnosis. The portability, remote monitoring capability and cost-effectiveness of TJay make it an ideal device for mass implementation. TJay has also been successfully scaled for the diagnosis of mental health disorders like anxiety and depression.
Nitesh Kumar Jangir
Innovation: Saans: a low-cost multi-powered, multi-use newborn breathing support system for low resource settings.
Every year more than 1, 00,000 newborns lose their lives because of breathing difficulties. These lives can be saved by a WHO-recommended breathing intervention called CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure). The current CPAP machines are not designed for low resource settings; these machines require a lot of supporting infrastructure, which is only available at few hospitals. Saans, a low-cost breathing support machine works with and without electricity with a patented manual mode, and does not require a trained person to use and can be used in any kind of transport.
Making of Aarohan Social Innovation Awards 2019