Mobile Tech Spans Health Gap for Developing World’s Pregnant Women

Posted March 24th, 2017 at 11:30 am (UTC-4)
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Nurses and midwives in Myanmar gather around to consult MayMay, an app with 60,000 active monthly users, for information on pregnancy and mother and infant health. (Michael Lwin for Koe Koe Tech)

Nurses and midwives in Myanmar gather around to consult MayMay, an app with 60,000 active monthly users, for information on pregnancy and mother and infant health. (Michael Lwin for Koe Koe Tech)

Finding a doctor in remote areas of the developing world often can mean the difference between life and death for a mother and her child. But with mobile technology, a host of businesses and nonprofits are keeping pregnant women informed and helping them care for themselves and their babies.

In some remote parts of the world where roads and basic infrastructure are lacking, mobile technology often is the fastest – and only – way to help a woman in labor or save the life of a child. One of the groups working in that space is the Maternity Foundation, whose app, Safe Delivery, puts emergency care information in the hands of midwives, clinicians and pregnant women alike.

The Safe Delivery app helps caregivers manage pregnancy with easy to follow guidelines to deal with complications and ensure safe delivery. (Maternity Foundation)

The Safe Delivery app helps caregivers manage pregnancy and deal with labor complications. (Maternity Foundation)

The app, developed by the foundation and two Danish universities, provides emergency Obstetric and Neonatal Care assistance, following World Health Organization (WHO) guidelines on birth complications. Using animated instruction videos in several languages, the app is designed to overcome literacy barriers.

The Safe Delivery app is in use in Asia and Africa, and the foundation hopes to make it available to 20,000 heath workers by the end of 2018.

While it is too soon to determine how many women the app has impacted in this early stage of implementation, the foundation said in an email its trials in Ethiopia in 2014 showed the skills of birth attendants who used the app “more than doubled after six months” of use.

CEO Anna Frellsen hopes to reach 20.000 skilled birth attendants by the end of 2018. “If we achieve this ambitious goal, we will help ensure 2 million women a safer birth.”

MayMay

The MayMay app provideslinks to tutorials to help pregnant women learn more about pregnancy ailments. (Koe Koe Tech)

In Myanmar, where maternal and under-five child mortality rates are high, MayMay helps fill the information gap through partnerships with the midwives and nurses association and council and the Ministry of Health.

Developed by IT social enterprise Koe Koe Tech, the app provides comprehensive information to pregnant women from pre-natal to post-natal care. It includes quizzes and daily alerts for the duration of pregnancy and the first three years of the infant’s life.

The app helps users find doctors, hospitals, maternity and child supplies. It also provides a chat service where “pregnant women and parents can discuss their issues with peers,” said Koe Koe Tech’s Michael Lwin in an email.

According to Lwin, the chat service is accessed 1,500 times per month for consultations on topics ranging from gender-based violence and adolescent sexual reproductive health to family planning, positive body image; fitness and nutrition.

The information the app provides is collated from Population Services International (PSI), Save the Children, and other international non-governmental organizations.

GiftedMom

Operating in Cameroon and other parts of Africa, mobile health solutions provider GiftedMom has a similar solution to provide pregnant women and new mothers with access to health information and help improve the care they receive.

A screenshot from the GiftedMom app, with links to various information relating to pregnancy and infant health. (GiftedMom)

The GiftedMom app links users to information about pregnancy and infant health. (GiftedMom)

While governments and their partners provide information for antenatal and postnatal care, their efforts are hampered by limited distribution channels. But with strong mobile penetration in Africa, the group has been using mobile devices to push automated SMS text and voice reminders of checkups or vaccines, in addition to information about pregnancy, labor, breastfeeding and postnatal care.

There is also a chat feature women can use to connect with health professionals. With this combination and a partnership with Cameroon’s Ministry of Public health, medical personnel have been able to follow up with more than 29,000 pregnant women and nursing mothers.

This year, the developers plan to expand into Haiti, Rwanda, Kenya, Mali and Nigeria, thereby impacting five million additional people by 2019.

Aida Akl
Aida Akl is a journalist working on VOA's English Webdesk. She has written on a wide range of topics, although her more recent contributions have focused on technology. She has covered both domestic and international events since the mid-1980s as a VOA reporter and international broadcaster.

Apple Denies iCloud Breach; Facebook Rolls Out Fake News Alerts

Posted March 23rd, 2017 at 12:19 pm (UTC-4)
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Today’s Tech Sightings:

The Apple logo is pictured on an iPhone in an illustration photo taken in Bordeaux, France, Feb. 1, 2017. (Reuters)

The Apple logo is pictured on an iPhone in an illustration photo taken in Bordeaux, France, Feb. 1, 2017. (Reuters)

Why Is Apple Afraid of Forcing Users to Reset Their Passwords?

A few days ago, a hacking collective based in Turkey claimed to have access to more than 600 million Apple accounts. The group, Turkish Crime Family, threatened to destroy the iCloud accounts if Apple fails to pay thousands of dollars in ransom. Apple vehemently denies that a security breach took place. But writer Alejandro Tauber, who has been in touch with the hackers, says the samples he has received indicate at least a portion of the hackers’ claims are legitimate.

Facebook Starts Warning US Users When Sharing Fake News

In its latest effort to fight off a plague of fake news, Facebook released a new feature that warns users in the U.S. whenever they are sharing a fake story. Users can still share the story even after being told it’s fake. The alert points to sources that dispute the fake story, and if the user ignores it, another pop-up window repeats the warning, with an option to review the alternative sources.

Study: 20 Million Mobile Devices at High Risk of Attack

A new study from security firm Skycure found that about two percent of all mobile devices are at high risk for malware infections. Two percent accounts for about two billion of the world’s mobile devices. So if malware hits this percentage, then as many as 20 million devices will be infected. Up to 71 percent of mobile devices are also running two-month-old security patches, according to the report.

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Aida Akl
Aida Akl is a journalist working on VOA's English Webdesk. She has written on a wide range of topics, although her more recent contributions have focused on technology. She has covered both domestic and international events since the mid-1980s as a VOA reporter and international broadcaster.

Alleged Rape Streams on Facebook; Brain Interface Lets Paralyzed ‘Talk’

Posted March 22nd, 2017 at 1:20 pm (UTC-4)
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Today’s Tech Sightings:

FILE - A man is silhouetted against a video screen with a Facebook logo as he poses with a smartphone, in the central Bosnian town of Zenica. (Reuters)

FILE – A man is silhouetted against a video screen with a Facebook logo as he poses with a smartphone, in the central Bosnian town of Zenica. (Reuters)

40 People Watched Alleged Live Sexual Assault on Facebook, Did Nothing

Six men are being hunted in Chicago for allegedly assaulting a 15-year-old and live-streaming the attack on Facebook. Authorities told AP none of the 40 people who reportedly watched the live video reported it to police. The girl’s mother reported her child missing and showed police screenshots of gang rape. Facebook has removed the video, and a spokesperson said “hideous crimes” like this are not allowed on Facebook. “We take our responsibility to keep people safe on Facebook very seriously,” he added, “and will remove videos that depict sexual assault and are shared to glorify violence.”

How People Who Can’t Talk Can Now Communicate by Thought Alone

A person in a locked-in state of paralysis cannot move or communicate with the outside world in any way. But Swiss research institute, the Wyss Center, has developed a brain-computer interface to help these people “talk” to others, using their thoughts. Patients in a locked-in state wear caps equipped with sensors. The sensors use lasers to track areas of the brain that are experiencing more metabolic activity when the person is asked a question, then produce an image that helps clinicians determine if the patient is saying yes or no.

Microsoft Completes Modified Windows 10 Version for Chinese Government

In an effort to push into the coveted Chinese market, Microsoft has modified its Windows 10 operating system for the Chinese government. Windows 10 has been banned for government amid Beijing’s concerns that foreign countries could use the operating system for surveillance. The modifications, done in collaboration with the state-owned China Electronics Technology Group, now await government approval.

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Aida Akl
Aida Akl is a journalist working on VOA's English Webdesk. She has written on a wide range of topics, although her more recent contributions have focused on technology. She has covered both domestic and international events since the mid-1980s as a VOA reporter and international broadcaster.

Google Pushes to Close Education Gap; Smart Cities’ IoT Challenge

Posted March 21st, 2017 at 12:20 pm (UTC-4)
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Today’s Tech Sightings:

Students read a book at the Makoko floating school on the Lagos Lagoon, Nigeria Feb. 29, 2016. (Reuters)

Students read a book at the Makoko floating school on the Lagos Lagoon, Nigeria, Feb. 29, 2016. (Reuters)

Google Commits $50 Million to Close the Education Gap

Google.org is looking to slash the number of students around the world who have no basic math or reading skills, estimated by UNESCO to be around 130 million individuals. Google.org plans to grant $50 million to nonprofit groups in the next two years to help them leverage technology to improve education in developing countries. So far, nine organizations working in 20 countries will receive grants this year.

US Bans Laptops on Flights From Muslim-majority Countries

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security unveiled new restrictions today that would require travelers arriving from eight countries subject to a travel ban to check in electronic gadgets larger than a smartphone with their luggage. The eight countries are Egypt, Jordan, Kuwait, Morocco, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, and the United Arab Emirates. But writer Thomas Fox-Brewster argues against the move for a variety of reasons, not the least of which is that it does nothing to thwart terrorists based in Europe or other parts of the world not included in the travel ban. Writer Alex Davies suggests the move makes sense and might be a response to a specific threat.

Big Cities See Early IoT Benefits, but Grapple With Ongoing Challenges

“Smart cities” are taking shape in some of the world’s biggest urban centers, with Internet of Things (IoT) technologies adding connectivity, sensors, cameras and massive data collection. The technology is making traffic and light signals on intersections smarter and more adaptive, for example, and in some cases alerting first responders to emergencies as they occur. But the security of this network of connectivity and the privacy of harvested user data remain a major challenge.

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Aida Akl
Aida Akl is a journalist working on VOA's English Webdesk. She has written on a wide range of topics, although her more recent contributions have focused on technology. She has covered both domestic and international events since the mid-1980s as a VOA reporter and international broadcaster.

Expert: Current Smartphone Design Not Sustainable

Posted March 17th, 2017 at 11:35 am (UTC-4)
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FILE - Old cellular phone components are discarded inside a workshop in the township of Guiyu in China's southern Guangdong province June 10, 2015. (Reuters)

FILE – Old cellular phone components are discarded inside a workshop in the township of Guiyu in China’s southern Guangdong province, June 10, 2015. (Reuters)

More than two billion smartphones are in use around the world and the numbers are growing. So are the mountains of hazardous e-waste our tech addictions are fueling. But a leading expert believes changing the way smartphones are designed could help address the e-waste problem.

A lot of people hold on to their smartphones until they break. Many, particularly iPhone users, seek out the latest and greatest iterations every two years. Their old smartphones, loaded with toxic metals, are dumped, donated, recycled or smelted. Whatever their fate, hazardous e-waste is piling up.

Between 2010 and 2015, e-waste increased 63 percent, according to the United Nations University. China tops the pile for that period with a 107 percent increase in e-waste and recycling systems that are a work in progress.

The problem is by design, said Ted Smith, Coordinator of the International Campaign for Responsible Technology. Smartphone components are not built from the start to be easily replaceable or recyclable. And manufacturers don’t think about e-waste when they flood the markets with billions and billions of smartphones.

It is a profitable “business model,” he argued, “where they really want to sell everybody a new phone every 18 months or two years.”

Some people fall for it, although most can do fine with what they’ve got if the battery holds up.” But leading manufacturers like Apple, for example, make it particularly “difficult” for users to “even open up their phones to repair them,” he said in an interview. “They fasten their batteries in to make it almost impossible to change” them.

With more than one billion iPhones in circulation, Apple, one of the world’s leading smartphone manufacturers, has taken steps to mitigate environmental damage. The company has not responded to Techtonics’ requests for comment. But just last year, it introduced a recycling robot to take apart its iPhones so that their components can be reused. Those include rare earth metals that make up screen colors, allow smartphones to vibrate, and give them other features that actually make them “smart.”

Samsung, a major smartphone manufacturer, said in an email it has “robust recycling programs” in place that encourage customers to participate in “appropriate disposal of e-waste.”  The company also said it incorporates the philosophy of reducing environmental impact “into the creation of all of our products – from their packaging to their materials to their design.”

At the start of product development, we use a proprietary Eco-design Criteria and Evaluation process to analyze and enhance the product’s potential recyclability and resource efficiency, and to try to restrict the use of potentially hazardous substances – Samsung

More recently, Samsung has been under pressure to recycle 4.3 million faulty Galaxy Note 7 smartphones it recalled in 2016 to avoid an environmental disaster. But in a follow-up email, Samsung said it has “prioritized a safe and environmentally friendly process for disposing of Galaxy Note7 devices” and that it is committed “to ensure a responsible disposal plan for our devices.”

Improper recycling can be hazardous, particularly in developing countries where children often rummage for parts to sell. And if the phone is smelted, the metals are lost, but the resulting fumes are also toxic.

In some cases, the e-waste is shipped to developing countries from the United States, where proper recycling can be expensive. “And since there are no rules against it, then that’s what’s happening,” said Smith, co-author of a 2002 study called Exporting Harm.

FILE - A polluted river flows past a workshop that is used for recycling electronic waste in the township of Guiyu in China's southern Guangdong province June 10, 2015. (Reuters)

FILE – A polluted river flows past a workshop that is used for recycling electronic waste in the township of Guiyu in China’s southern Guangdong province June 10, 2015. (Reuters)

Shipping e-waste to China, which also produces its own e-waste, and other parts of the world causes a lot of harm. Oftentimes, China’s recycling process entails “burning things, just tearing things apart and throwing things in a water body,” said Smith. “The children are getting sick. That’s not a good way to advance economic development.”

It is also happening in other parts of Asia, Africa, and Latin America. “It’s a huge problem,” he added. “And the U.S is the only advanced country in the world that has refused to sign on to the Basel convention, which is designed to try to prevent the shipment of toxic waste from rich countries to poor countries. So the U.S. has all the brands that make all these new gadgets, but it’s also the real global culprit in not doing its part to try to solve the problem.”

The preferred way to deal with discarded phones is to reuse them, said Smith, even though their lifecycle is only around four years.

“There is a tremendous reuse market,” he added. “And there’s much more value in reusing the phone than recycling it. There’s some value in recycling it, but not very much. There’s a little bit of precious metals in a phone that has some value, but a lot of it is really not very valuable.”

But he believes the real answer to the e-waste problem begins with manufacturers. “It starts with making the devices less hazardous to begin with,” he said, by investing in green chemistry and using fewer hazardous materials. This in turn will “help drive the whole smartphone lifecycle.”

“It helps in the production so the workers themselves are exposed to less hazardous material,” he said. “It helps in the use so the consumers are exposed to less hazardous material. And it certainly helps with end-of-life, where if you burn the product as they’re doing so much, you won’t be creating the kinds of toxic fumes that are going on right now. So I think the green chemistry solution is the best approach from a lifecycle perspective.”

The only problem, he cautioned, is that smartphone manufacturers are making huge profits on disposable gadgets. “So until people figure this out and come together and say ‘enough is enough’, we’re going to continue to see this happening.”

Aida Akl
Aida Akl is a journalist working on VOA's English Webdesk. She has written on a wide range of topics, although her more recent contributions have focused on technology. She has covered both domestic and international events since the mid-1980s as a VOA reporter and international broadcaster.

How Yahoo Was Hacked; Android 7.1.1 Nougat for Nexus 6 Downgraded

Posted March 16th, 2017 at 12:18 pm (UTC-4)
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Today’s Tech Sightings:

This wanted poster provided by the FBI shows Alexsey Alexseyevich Belan, aka “Magg,” 29, a Russian national and resident charged Wednesday, March 15, 2017, of breaching Yahoo.

This wanted poster provided by the FBI shows Alexsey Alexseyevich Belan, aka “Magg,” 29, a citizen and resident of Russia charged Wednesday, March 15, 2017, with breaching Yahoo.

Who the Russian Hackers Targeted When They Stole Yahoo Emails

Russian spies and cybercriminals charged for allegedly hacking into more than 500 million Yahoo accounts in 2014 targeted diplomats, executives and an investigative reporter, according to U.S. Department of Justice documents. They also searched millions of accounts for credit cards, financial information and login credentials.  It is still unclear how they breached Yahoo in the first place to carry out their plans. However, the Kremlin denied any official involvement.

Google Downgrades Nexus 6 From Android 7.1.1 Nougat to Android 7.0

The Android 7.1.1 Nougat update for Nexus 6 devices was rolled out in early March and later paused because of security concerns. Now, Google has confirmed it is rolling back the update and restoring the older Android 7.0 Nougat operating system. There are also reports of continuing crashes as a result of the downgrade.

Experts: Psychopathic CEOs Rife in Silicon Valley

A panel of experts at South by Southwest festival in Texas argues that Silicon Valley has a large number of “psychopathic CEOs.” The term typically has negative connotations, but according to the panel, true psychopaths have a blend of deficits but hide them well, coming across as charming. Clinical psychologist Michael Woodworth said these individuals often lack remorse and empathy.

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Aida Akl
Aida Akl is a journalist working on VOA's English Webdesk. She has written on a wide range of topics, although her more recent contributions have focused on technology. She has covered both domestic and international events since the mid-1980s as a VOA reporter and international broadcaster.

Asia Takes Brunt of 2016 Hacks; High-profile Twitter Accounts Hijacked

Posted March 15th, 2017 at 12:53 pm (UTC-4)
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Today’s Tech Sightings:

FILE - A researcher of Hauri, an IT security software company investigating computer viruses, works at one of the company's labs in Seoul, South Korea. (Reuters)

FILE – A researcher of Hauri, an IT security software firm investigating computer viruses, works at one of the company’s labs in Seoul, South Korea. (Reuters)

APAC Bore Brunt of Cyberattacks in 2016

The Asia-Pacific region took the lion’s share of cyberattacks in 2016, according to security firm Trend Micro. The region attracted three times more malware infections than North America and six times more than of Latin America.  APAC experienced up to 500,000 unknown threats each day, and 27 percent of ransomware attacks targeted Asia-Pacific individuals and companies, compared with 22 percent in Latin America.

Millions of Records Leaked From Huge US Corporate Database

A database containing about 33.7 million email addresses and contact data for thousands of U.S. corporations and their employees has been leaked. Security expert Troy Hunt obtained the documents and analyzed them. The database, owned by business services giant Dun & Bradstreet, contains more than 100,000 Defense Department records. It is unclear how the data was exposed.

Hackers Hijack Twitter Accounts Over Turkish Diplomatic Feud

Hackers broadcasting pro-Turkish messages in Turkey’s feud with Germany and the Netherlands hijacked a number of Twitter accounts, including UNICEF, Amnesty International and others. Twitter said a third-party analytics app, Twitter Counter, was exploited to hack the accounts. Access to the service has since been blocked. Twitter Counter is investigating the incident. If you want to know how to protect your Twitter account, writer Tom Warren has a few tips.

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Aida Akl
Aida Akl is a journalist working on VOA's English Webdesk. She has written on a wide range of topics, although her more recent contributions have focused on technology. She has covered both domestic and international events since the mid-1980s as a VOA reporter and international broadcaster.

Millions of Twitter Accounts Are Bots; Looking to Musk to Fix the World

Posted March 14th, 2017 at 9:38 am (UTC-4)
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Today’s Tech Sightings

FILE - A picture illustration shows a 3-D-printed Twitter logo through broken glass. (Reuters)

FILE – A picture illustration shows a 3-D-printed Twitter logo through broken glass. (Reuters)

Study: Up to 48 Million Twitter Accounts Are Bots

Twitter, according to a joint study released by the University of Southern California and Indiana University, has more than 48 million bot accounts – and some of them could be among your followers.  Twitter has about 319 million active monthly users. The study found that between 9 and 15 percent of those are bots. Writer Dan Tynan offers some tips to help you identify Twitter bots.

Tech Giants Join Google to Fight Order to Hand Over Foreign Emails

Apple, Microsoft, Amazon, and Cisco have all come to Google’s aid after a Pennsylvania court ordered it to hand over emails stored overseas to the FBI. In an amicus brief, the tech firms argued that the FBI warrant seeking emails stored abroad is an invasion of privacy outside the borders of the United States and invites other countries to do the same. Google had vowed it would fight the order. It’s not clear what type of data the court order requires.

Musk’s Pledge to Fix South Australia’s Energy Issues Attracts Other Countries

A few days ago, Tesla CEO Elon Musk pledged to solve South Australia’s energy crisis within 100 days or he will do it for free. Storms have left the Australian state with severe outages and its power companies scrambling to meet demand. To address the issue, Tesla would install a 100 megawatt battery storage system. Soon after the pledge was made, other interested parties in Ukraine, New Zealand and other countries contacted Musk for more details.

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Aida Akl
Aida Akl is a journalist working on VOA's English Webdesk. She has written on a wide range of topics, although her more recent contributions have focused on technology. She has covered both domestic and international events since the mid-1980s as a VOA reporter and international broadcaster.

Mobile Tech Key to Migrant Health Care Solutions

Posted March 10th, 2017 at 11:33 am (UTC-4)
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Aid workers on the ground can use a digital portal to design appropriate medication labels and add the migrant languages they are working with to the system. The labels are attached to aid packs and can be scanned with a mobile phone for more information online. (Frontend/IOM)

Aid workers on the ground can use a digital portal to design appropriate medication labels and add the migrant languages they are working with to the system. The labels are attached to aid packs and can be scanned with a mobile phone for more information online. (Frontend/IOM)

More than 65 million people around the world are displaced and on the move with no access to health care. But mobile technology will soon change that, thanks to a partnership between design consultancy Frontend and the International Organization for Migration (IOM).

When migrants and refugees fleeing their hometowns arrive at an emergency center or refugee camp, they typically receive health care, treatment and medications, among other assistance from aid groups. Once they leave to go back home or to other countries, they lose access to that care and any information surrounding it.

That is one of IOM’s key challenges – the mobility of health care and health care data. And it raises a lot of questions and difficulties for Frontend User Experience (UX) designer John Buckley. For him, it means aid groups will need to “change their practices to meet the reality on the ground” and take the service to end-users, wherever they are.

“Often times, displaced people were arriving at aid camps, receiving treatment and getting tested for various diseases and conditions, but moving on from the camp before the test results returned,” he said in an interview. “The aid agencies then have no way of relaying that information to the migrants or to the countries they were traveling to.”

But the prevalence of mobile devices among migrant populations offers aid organizations an opportunity to provide them with the same level of services they offer in emergency camps in Greece or Turkey, for example.

With help from students from various design colleges around the world and input from refugees and aid groups on the ground, the Irish firm and IOM came up with a new concept for a health care system that would address the challenge.

One such solution is an Electronic Health Record system that would allow migrants to get tested at the camps in Greece or Turkey and then use an app to access the results at a later date through their mobile phones, wherever they happen to be.

The idea is that the migrant, not a health system, “owned and had access to that information,” said Buckley. At the same time, the results are “translatable” so that “healthcare professionals in whichever jurisdiction could interpret the results for the patient.”

Part of the Future Bision of Migrant Health care is Remote Doctor Consulting, which will give more vulnerable migrants access to health care. (Frontend/IOM)

Part of the Future Vision of Migrant Health care is Remote Doctor Consulting, which will give more vulnerable migrants access to health care. (Frontend/IOM)

In the same way, patients on the move “could connect to an app and speak with a doctor in their own language through an IOM service,” he said. “This would alleviate difficulties migrants can face in terms of accessing health care in other countries.”

But an even bigger challenge is the way medications are currently labeled when they are distributed to migrants and refugees at emergency centers. Aid groups typically provide newcomers with medications in clear plastic bags, with different labels attached to them.

“There’s different types of labels by different agencies,” explained Buckley. “The medications, because they’re often donated or they’re always bought in bulk, will be single tablets … which may, depending on the provider, be different types of tablets.”

The pills a migrant or refugee receives could be yellow and oblong on some days, blue and round on others – a situation that promotes mistrust despite the fact that the medications are prescribed for that particular individual.

“They might not trust they have the tablet,” he said. “And so building a level of trust is vital.”

But that’s harder to do with the existing labels, which offer very basic information and little or no insight into the prescribed medication. “When you and I buy medication, we’ll have a full information leaflet,” he added. “We’ll have dosage information. There’s very little information on most of these packages.”

And while recipients at the camp can ask aid groups for clarification, they are on their own once they are on the move again.

The picture shows the design for a medication label for Paracetamol. Migrants who see similar labels attached to their aid packs can scan the label with their phones to look up further information about the medication online. (Frontend/IOM)

The picture shows the design for a medication label for Paracetamol. Migrants who see similar labels attached to their aid packs can scan the label with their phones to look up further information about the medication online. (Frontend/IOM)

But Frontend and IOM came up with an answer – an award-winning concept for a standardized label that all aid agencies can use.

The new label lets migrants with mobile phones scan a QR code to access more information about their medications. It also provides additional iconography and language for aid workers on the ground to customize the information for patients in different languages “so that a person with a mobile phone could scan that and get access to the information in their own language.”

Frontend and IOM are looking to partner with the World Health Organization to make the label a reality. In the process, Buckley hopes to promote human-centered design – understanding the needs of end-users first – as an effective way to tackle social issues.

Aida Akl
Aida Akl is a journalist working on VOA's English Webdesk. She has written on a wide range of topics, although her more recent contributions have focused on technology. She has covered both domestic and international events since the mid-1980s as a VOA reporter and international broadcaster.

More Ads Stray Into Windows 10; Backup Files Before Next iOS Update

Posted March 9th, 2017 at 1:14 pm (UTC-4)
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Today’s Tech Sightings:

FILE - A display for the Windows 10 operating system is seen in a store window at the Microsoft store at Roosevelt Field in Garden City, New York. (Reuters)

FILE – A display for the Windows 10 operating system is seen in a store window at the Microsoft store at Roosevelt Field in Garden City, New York. (Reuters)

Microsoft Ads Invade Windows 10’s File Explorer

Microsoft is spamming Windows 10 systems with ads that are appearing in the file system. Some users report an ad about Office 365 hidden in an offer to expand cloud storage. Writer Ian Paul shares a tip to turn these ads off if you are one of numerous people who have been complaining about this intrusion on social media in the past few days.

The Next Version of iOS Will Feature Major but Hidden Change

When was the last time you backed up your iOS data? Writer Julie Bort suggests that you do before the next iOS version arrives. The update introduces a new filing structure to replace the previous, 30-year-old system. The catch is the change is not compatible with older files, so if your files go the way of the dinosaur, you’re going to wish you had them on a backup device.

Europol: Technology Is Now at Root of Almost All Serious Crime

Europe’s police agency is blaming technology for driving almost all serious crime. In a study of organized crime, the agency said ransomware has become a major concern, but many traditional criminals are now relying on computers, drones and social media to track their victims and determine the best time for them to go after their valuables.

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Aida Akl
Aida Akl is a journalist working on VOA's English Webdesk. She has written on a wide range of topics, although her more recent contributions have focused on technology. She has covered both domestic and international events since the mid-1980s as a VOA reporter and international broadcaster.