With Gursharan Singh, Arvind Batra and Kanav Abrol, NSIT.
As an undergraduate student in India, I was motivated into action when my mother, a doctor in a large government hospital, described the problems faced by the rural healthcare system.
It became apparent to me that sick villagers suffered longer and traveled farther because they lacked information about when and where local health camps would be set up. Local epidemics spread uncontrollably even though they could have been contained had villagers received timely and pertinent information about prevention and treatment. One barrier to spreading information is that more than 40% of the population cannot read. Even though most people have FM radios, the information broadcast on it was non-local and catered to a larger hinterland.
In response, I conceptualized, designed and team that implemented a system called “Infostation.” The system works by finding region specific health and agricultural information, converted it into speech which was then broadcast locally over FM airwaves. In practice, the system would automatically detect the oncoming rainy season and would broadcast information about how to prevent malaria as well as the expected time of arrival of the mobile health camp. In another application of Infostation, the system would broadcast the latest prices of specific fertilizers used by local farmers.
Infostation was awarded 2nd prize among 271 teams worldwide at the Microsoft IEEE Windows Embedded Challenge 2005 at Redmond, WA, and also received considerable attention from the Delhi Government.