Tech Innovations Bringing Hope & Health in Developing World
Five tech breakthroughs helping level the playing field in developing countries: inexpensive tablets, laptops, and mobile phones; affordable solar panels and nanotech toilets.
What's the Latest Development?
Across the developing world, innovators are finding ways to make technology cheaper and therefore accessible to millions previously excluded by high costs. Affordability is often the greatest hurdle to overcome but here are five areas where it has been achieved: inexpensive tablets, laptops, and mobile phones; rotating solar panels and nanotech toilets.
What's the Big Idea?
Improving sanitation is key to the progress of developing countries, which is why Bill Gates, for instance, pledged to reinvent the toilet. Last year, India’s Tata Chemicals released an affordable water filter that uses nanotechnology, requires no electricity and meets U.S. sanitation standards. The filter is made of rice husk ash and fine nano-silver particles to prohibit bacteria growth.
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Can sensitive coral reefs survive another human generation?
- Coral reefs may not be able to survive another human decade because of the environmental stress we have placed on them, says author David Wallace-Wells. He posits that without meaningful changes to policies, the trend of them dying out, even in light of recent advances, will continue.
- The World Wildlife Fund says that 60 percent of all vertebrate mammals have died since just 1970. On top of this, recent studies suggest that insect populations may have fallen by as much as 75 percent over the last few decades.
- If it were not for our oceans, the planet would probably be already several degrees warmer than it is today due to the emissions we've expelled into the atmosphere.
Research has shown that men today have less testosterone than they used to. What's happening?
- Several studies have confirmed that testosterone counts in men are lower than what they used to be just a few decades ago.
- While most men still have perfectly healthy testosterone levels, its reduction puts men at risk for many negative health outcomes.
- The cause of this drop in testosterone isn't entirely clear, but evidence suggests that it is a multifaceted result of modern, industrialized life.
Michael Dowling, Northwell Health's CEO, believes we're entering the age of smart medicine.
- The United States health care system has much room for improvement, and big tech may be laying the foundation for those improvements.
- Technological progress in medicine is coming from two fronts: medical technology and information technology.
- As information technology develops, patients will become active participants in their health care, and value-based care may become a reality.
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