The Top 5 Health Tech Companies in SpainThe world of health technology has been growing exponentially in the last decade and continues to grow, especially with the novel coronavirus still affecting the world. One of the most prominent locations for health technology is in Spain. The industry has a large quantity of health tech company startups in Spain; high-quality companies are making new drug discoveries for treatments and creating virtual therapies that can help those in impoverished areas receive the medical care they need. Here are the top five health tech companies making strides in Spain.

The Top 5 Health Tech Companies in Spain

  1. Elma Care is an app that combines comprehensive health insurance with remote medical consultations. This great new resource emerged in Barcelona, Spain, in 2017. Elma Care is one of the top five health tech companies in Spain because the app keeps all of a patient’s medical information in one place, allows consultation with primary care physicians remotely and offers tools like preventative medicine plans to help people access healthcare with more ease and efficiency. All of this is possible from the comfort and safety of the home, allowing for social distancing during the current global pandemic.
  2. Devicare is a specialty biotech company that focuses on chronic diseases. The company, founded in Barcelona, Spain, strives to develop solutions for the treatment process of chronic diseases. The company also offers a mentoring service with a team of experts and nursing staff. Often, chronic diseases involve a multitude of doctor visits and, in many cases, few answers. However, Devicare offers a cheaper and easier way of treating chronic diseases.
  3. Savana Medica provides a platform in which the clinical data for patients from healthcare organizations can be managed. EHRead, a form of Artificial Intelligence, or AI, technology, can obtain valuable health information that aids medical professionals in the diagnosis and treatment of patients. It is one of the top five health tech companies in Spain because this technology fosters quick and efficient access to records, which can help doctors understand a patient’s history of disease and illness.
  4. Genomcore is a company that has created an interface that stores a patient’s genetic information. Founded in 2015 in Barcelona, Spain, the platform that Genomcore provides for patient information can be efficiently shared with medical professionals when necessary. Genomcore helps foster more personalized treatment for patients and consequently the possibility of faster recovery from illness.
  5. Mediktor was founded in 2011 but has made a new name for itself due to increased use during the pandemic. Mediktor is an app that gives symptom assessments to patients via their own personal devices before even seeing a medical professional. In March 2020, the company released the COVID-19 symptom checker. With Mediktor, people were able to determine, with great accuracy, whether or not they needed to see a medical professional in relation to COVID-19 symptoms.

The top five health tech companies in Spain are instrumental to the world of healthcare today. While many people have restricted access to needed medical attention, these new technologies can change that.

– Grace Aprahamian
Photo: Flickr

creativity, innovation and poverty
Mainstream thinking revolves around the idea that emerging nations need the industrialized world to bring innovation to them, since they lack the resources to innovate themselves. Silicon Valley and their cohort have proven themselves to be masters of advancing and solving first-world issues, but they do little to solve the very real problems that exist in the developing world. Their hearts lie in the right place, but, having grown up in a different world with a vastly different life, they tend to lack the knowledge to fully understand what will and won’t work.

The true innovators of our time are those who live within the borders of developing countries, as they are the ones who truly comprehend the complex relationship between creativity, innovation and poverty.

Creativity and Poverty

In an interview with Innovations Online, a technology and entrepreneurial digital magazine, Marcelo Giugale, a senior economic advisor at the World Bank, stated that “innovation is not the same as invention. Innovation is the actual application of an invention.”

According to Ken Burns, an Ashoka fellow in a similar interview with Innovations, the minds in first world countries often innovate for the sake of innovating. When people live in dire situations and are consistently faced with constrained resources, they may be driven to solve problems and create in ways that can fundamentally change their daily lives.

The creativity that comes from the people who live in extreme poverty has the potential to instate meaningful and large-scale change that can improve the lives of millions, and not just those in the middle and upper middle class seen in developed countries. The link between creativity, innovation and poverty is being acted upon within the minds of several talented individuals living in emerging countries.

Map Kibera and Insiders4Good

In 2009, young Kiberans of the Kibera division in Nairobi, Kenya, created Map Kibera, the first open and free digital map of their own community. Until then, it was just a blank spot on the map. The primary goal of Map Kibera was “to find a new solution to an old problem: the lack of participatory democracy in Kibera.” The platform aims to address the omission of Nairobi’s citizens from policy decisions, mass communications and city representation.

The site utilizes the digital age to allow the region’s inhabitants to bypass the traditional gatekeepers of data and information. They no longer must rely on the common methodologies of NGOs to learn the facts about HIV, gender, malaria, sanitation and other important health facts in their own community – they can now research the information themselves. Map Kibera has recently grown into a full interactive community project and has expanded to Mathare and Mukura.

Insiders4Good East Africa Fellowship is a training program that, in 2017, brought together 20 young entrepreneurs from Rwanda, Uganda, Kenya and Tanzania who had innovative business ideas that have the potential to improve their communities. The program consists of six months of technical and strategic mentorship from international and local leaders.

Mensa Healthcare and

Many of these young entrepreneurs utilized the cross-section between creativity, innovation and poverty to address and solve many critical local problems. Using artificial intelligence, Peter Aketch’s Mensa Healthcare provides actionable data to pharmaceutical companies, public health organizations and governmental agencies.

The necessity for such an innovation is vital due to the healthcare system’s lack of comprehensive and efficient digital record keeping. This innovation will decrease the possibility of misdiagnosis and allow for a more robust collection of public health data.

Eighty percent of graduates in Tanzania struggle to find jobs. This has led to an increase in crime, extremism, drug abuse, and violence. Edgar Mwampinge’s aims to help these youths by making it easier for start-ups and freelancers to succeed.

His goal is to make shared office space available by connecting these youths with business and office owners who wish to share their workspaces.

IV Drip Alert and Lyon Analytics

In Rwanda, Ange Uwambajimana’s IV Drip Alert enables nurses to more easily manage intravenous fluids through its wireless system. This creative innovation was in response to problems such as embolism which can occur if the medical observer forgets to change the IV at the right time.

And Kenya’s John Mugendi developed a breast cancer prediction system. He proposes that his Lyon Analytics will track the progression from onset to late stages.

2015 Website

2015 is a site that launched in the Middle East. It invites users to submit their own creations that help bring awareness to social issues such as poverty in the Arab region. The relationship between creativity, innovation and poverty is front and center on the site as it showcases images and videos of hunger, the vulnerable and of poverty.

This “movement,” as some have come to call it, was born out of a reaction to the promise made by the nearly 200 world leaders at the United Nations Millennium Summit in 2000. They pledged to eradicate extreme poverty by the year 2015; however, as of 2012, the number of people still living in extreme poverty checked in at 3 billion.

The creative mind brings wonderous elements to the world — whether that be in new technological advances in the medical field, social satire, digital communications or a site dedicated to awareness. As long as ambition and goodwill prevail, there will always be a relationship that exists between creativity, innovation and poverty. The 2015 slogan reads, “Art changes perceptions, perceptions change people, people change the world,” and its mantra could not be more right.

– Aaron Stein
Photo: Flickr

tools to solve farmer povertyFarmers constitute around 75 percent of the world’s poor. This fact is singularly important considering the perspective that global poverty is solvable by providing easily accessible, effective and economical farming solutions to people around the world.

Experts believe there are three simple tools to solve farmer poverty. These are:

  1. Hybrid seeds
  2. Skill training
  3. Microloans

How to Best Address the World’s Current Needs

The world is struggling to meet the demands of consistently rising rates of population and consumption There are only two alternatives to meet this increasing demand and multiply production: either dedicate more forest land to farming or increase the efficiency and productivity of the existing farmland.

Increasing land use is an inefficient short-term solution that is also detrimental to the environment, whereas the latter option can be achieved as an enduring solution. The most simple and proven way to produce a greater volume of crops from existing farmlands is through the use of hybrid seeds.

Using Hybrid Seeds as Tools to Solve Farmer Poverty

Hybrid seeds are one of the three simple tools to solve farmer poverty. Using a hybrid can yield a product that has the benefits of both its parents; for example, improved resistance toward disease from one and climate tolerance and high yield from the other. Several agricultural experiments in Africa, South America and South Asia have successfully proven the effectiveness of hybrid seeds in multiplying the crop production.

In rural Kenya, a farmer support initiative called One Acre Fund reported an average gain of 65 percent in farmer income using hybrid maize seeds along with microdoses of fertilizers in 2017 alone. Several farmers reported that they doubled or tripled their produce.

Skill Training as the Second Solution to Farmer Poverty

One of the other two tools to solve farmer poverty is skill training. Providing skill training to farmers can help them navigate their lives out of poverty’s vicious circle. Skill training can range from simple things like seed spacing or the right amount of irrigation to more advanced cultivation techniques; for example, sustainable agricultural practices and innovative cross-pollination methods.

In March, the Indian government’s Ministries of Agriculture and Skill Development signed an agreement to impart training and skill development to farmers at 690 Krishi Vigyan Kendras (farming science centers) all over the country. The scheme aims to double the farmer income.

Solving Farmer Poverty Through Microloans

The third one among the three simple tools to solve farmer poverty is microloans. As the name suggests, a microloan is a small amount of money borrowed from a bank or a local financial institution. Microloans are an essential key to solve poverty due to a small principal amount ($2 – $500), small monthly installments (only a few cents), flexible tenure (12 to 60 months) and a low-interest rate (12 – 20 percent).

Startups like Branch and LendUp are helping farmers in developing countries to borrow money using their mobile phones. Branch charges 15 percent interest on a loan as low as $2 at the end of a month. It never charges an overdraft fee and employs 100 employees in San Francisco, Lagos and Nairobi.

Though they appear to be small changes, these three simple tools to solve farmer poverty can change the world sooner than it might seem.

– Himja Sethi

Photo: Flickr

Humanitarian relief projects involve massive undertakings, and often organizations employ hundreds or even thousands of aid workers to get the job done. It’s no surprise then that relief efforts require huge amounts of logistic planning and coordination.

This can be difficult to achieve accurately and quickly as communication infrastructure may be downed or poorly developed to begin with.

Further, it is difficult to track the individual efforts of aid workers across large developing, or vastly affected regions. As a result, relief may be slow, disorganized, and ineffective. In order to deliver aid more quickly and efficiently, the UN has teamed up with San Francisco based tech company Frog to develop the Humanitarian Data Exchange, or HDX for short.

The goal of the project is to streamline humanitarian data. In the past, relief workers compiled thousands of documents and data points in a variety of formats. The HDX standardizes the methods in which data is entered and collected, thus making finding specific data points easier with less crucial time wasted.

The HDX contains numerous data points, most complied by aid workers on the ground. The network can be accessed from any computer or mobile device with an Internet connection. Users then search for a specific dataset using a basic search engine.

The data includes region-specific populations, available medical services and their inventories, national poverty indexes, the number of homeless in the area, and hundreds of others.

The UN first implemented the HDX in West Africa during the Ebola epidemic. Currently, aid workers coordinating earthquake relief efforts are most actively using the HDX in Nepal.

The HDX has currently 76 different datasets for Nepal; many of these include maps and topographical information, as remote Nepalese regions are difficult to traverse due to limited infrastructure.

Nepal is not the only country benefitting from more efficient aid; the HDX lists data in 244 locations. Data is available to the public as well, and can be found at their website.

Joe Kitaj

Sources: Forbes 1, Forbes 2, RW Labs
Photo: Forbes

The word “entrepreneur“ seems to carry a certain gravitas. Names like Mark Zuckerberg, Steve Jobs or Bill Gates often come to mind when thinking about the most well known entrepreneurs. One might think of Silicon Valley as the hotbed of tech entrepreneurs, but a new wave of young, technologically inclined entrepreneurs is spreading in the developing world.

Long have been the days of governments and large non-government organizations (NGOs) dictating development in poorer countries. The age-old stereotype that the young are more technologically savvy than older ones holds true today. While better might not be the right word, younger people around the world are very connected into the technology world.

Because of this, some young entrepreneurs are combining technology and small business solutions to take the lead in changing the lives of fellow countrymen. Instead of a nation’s path being decided by outside investors, young entrepreneurs are putting their own country in the driving seat.

Many of these young entrepreneurs are tired with the status quo, and want improvements quicker than they are coming. So, instead of waiting for an NGO to fix a problem, they are taking issues by the scruff of the neck themselves. “Youth in Egypt want change and they’re not going to wait for it,” according to Waleed Abd el Rahman, a Cairo resident who runs a tech business forum there.

Rahman is working with a number of start-ups. One is developing an app that aims to help users navigate Cairo’s famously traffic-clogged streets. Another is working towards making private tutoring less expensive by providing online alternatives. Fed up with nuisances of their daily life, young Egyptians are taking charge, hoping to make a positive social impact and change the world.

Importantly, the spread of mobile phones throughout the developing world is only making tech entrepreneurs’ lives easier. More than a luxury item, the cell phone is a productive tool in Africa. Small businesses can track their finances and solve problems or inefficiencies. Africa is not the only place that tech entrepreneurs and mobile phones are making an impact. Both are blooming in India as well.

Shivani Siroya, from northern India, began a small company that developed InSight, a way for people to better keep track of their finances by staying up to date via text messages. They can keep track of their income and expenses through the service.

Even expats and foreigners are jumping on the entrepreneur train. Sean Blagsvedt, who lives in Bangalore, India, started Babajob. The platform helps informal workers look for better jobs by texting or calling from their mobile phone.

Gregory Rockson, originally from Ghana but living in San Francisco, started a tech company called mPharma when he heard that people back home were dying of treatable diseases, simply because they could not get medicine fast enough. By the time someone had found medicine for one heart disease patient, he was already dead.

To fix this, mPharma shows which pharmacies have which medicines in an online database. Pharmacies log what drugs they have so that doctors can see exactly where they can get them, cutting down precious time wasted going pharmacy to pharmacy looking for the right medicine. This is a perfect example of a young entrepreneur trying to make change in his country for the better.

Greg Baker

Sources: Washington Post, PBS, NPR
Photo: PBS

Soccer unites people. It is one of the few things that crosses social, geographic, ethnic and religious boundaries. It is widely understood and played by many. This is why Uncharted Play tapped into the love of soccer to make a difference in the world. They believed in the power of play.

Uncharted Play was founded in 2011 with the strong belief that through the pursuit of play and happiness, they could create something that “would show the world how play could be a tangible tool for inspiring social invention.”

The two founders of Uncharted Play, Jessica O. Matthews and Julia Silverman, met during their junior year at Harvard University, where they teamed up to create the SOCCKET as a class project.

The SOCCKET is a soccer ball with an LED light and a plug off the side. It has a mechanism on the inside that converts kinetic energy to electricity, which powers an LED light for three hours after just thirty minutes of play.

Uncharted Play’s first large-scale success was in Mexico in March 2013, where the largest television station, Televisa, gave out 150 SOCCKETs for free at a ceremony.

However, the first big problem that users ran into with the SOCCKETs was the invention’s low durability. Uncharted Play took this into account and began making improvements. Matthews said, “We’re not Nike. We’re not Walmart… We’re a group of eight people in an apartment in New York City.” She later added, “Things may not always go right, but we are always, always, always… trying to do our best and doing it for the bigger picture.”

Since the creation of the SOCCKET in 2008 and the establishment of Uncharted Play in 2011, they have created a second product—energy-storing jump ropes—and have improved on the first.

Uncharted Play recognized that nearly 1.2 billion people live without electricity and sought to find a solution that not only reduced this number, but also increased happiness. The SOCCKETs are used to light homes and help children do their homework, and most importantly, it gets the kids out to play. Here, soccer and global poverty truly do collide—with positive results.

Hannah Resnick

Sources: Smithsonian, Public Radio International, Uncharted Play, World Bank
Photo: Development Crossing

Source via a nice article published in SoccerTimes


We live in a technological age, aptly called the information age. One of the staples of the information age is the inclusion of technology into our daily lives. The majority of our lives are structured around the technological advancements we have accomplished, from where to how we communicate. While these advancements are significant in our everyday tasks, their great significance extends during times of crisis and emergency response efforts.

One of the most significant ways in which technology has revolutionized disaster relief is the ability to get information to those in need of aid. The greatest technological advancement that achieves this goal is mobile phones.

In a Q&A regarding the utilization of technology in fighting the Ebola outbreak, Eric King, an innovation specialist who worked on the USAID’s Disaster Assistance Response Team in Liberia during the Ebola outbreak had this to say: “A decade ago, a small percentage of West Africans had access to cellphones. Now, mobile phones allow us to connect those in need with those who can help. Families of the sick can call emergency Ebola hotlines, social mobilizers can share tips for community engagement, individuals can resolve Ebola rumors by texting local radio stations, health workers can be paid electronically, and clinics can flag when they’re low on supplies.”

Technological advancements are not limited to those in need of aid. Another prime instance of technological advancements revolutionizing emergency response efforts comes from the manner in which response efforts can mobilize.

There are numerous examples of advancements in communications technologies that have made the mobilization of relief efforts drastically faster and more efficient; during disaster events, speed and efficiency can literally save lives.

One such example comes from the relief efforts performed when Super-typhoon Haiyan struck the Philippines in 2013. Due to weather tracking technology, the storm was seen well enough in advance to allow early warning to those areas that would be affected. Furthermore, due to this advanced warning, the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UNOCHA) was able to reach out to the Digital Humanitarian Network (DHN) for assistance. The DHN volunteers utilized social media, as well as other online platforms, to help create a digital map of the aftereffects of Super-typhoon Haiyan. This map was then used to help coordinate relief efforts in the area.

More than just coordinating relief efforts, social media plays another vital role in aiding emergency response efforts, as does technological advancement in general. Technological advancements, particularly those centered on the Internet, allow information regarding disaster relief efforts to be spread much more rapidly to the public. This has numerous benefits, but the most significant is the capacity for organizations to gain public support and assistance during disasters. Many organizations that aid in disaster relief rely heavily on public support, particularly for volunteers.

With the advent of the Internet, these organizations can get more attention and recognition, which in turn garnishes a significant amount of support. These are but a few of the ways in which technological advancement has advanced emergency response efforts.

James Miller

Sources: USAID, Time
Photo: EECU

The Indian government has increasingly used technology to aid its fight against tuberculosis (TB). By using biometric and mobile technology, it has been able to better ensure that patients take their proper treatment. This mitigates the risk of spreading the disease and developing into multi-drug resistant TB.

For a disease that kills more than 270,000 people in India and a few million worldwide in other countries, developments in the fight against TB have been slow to come. The vaccine that is currently being used to prevent TB is more than 85 years old and is only effective against certain strains of the disease in children. The most widely used diagnostic test was created 125 years ago and misses half the cases. It also cannot detect strains of TB that are resistant to drugs.

India passed a law in 2012 that made TB a notifiable disease, which means that doctors are required to report an infected person to the government. To make the process easier, the government has rolled out a program called Nikshay in private and public hospitals. Nikshay is an electronic reporting unit that uploads case files and treatment processes onto a single database across the country. This makes it easier to track people who have contracted the disease and ensure that they are taking the proper treatment.

In some places, Nikshay has been compounded with Aadhar, a biometric identification system that was rolled out a few years earlier. Aadhar gives every Indian citizen a unique number that is linked to a biometric card. Coupling the data in Nikshay and Aadhar improves monitoring and evaluation, and makes payments easier as Aadhar can also be linked to a bank account.

Treating TB is a long and complicated process. Estimates show that fighting TB can amount to 39% of a household’s annual expenditure. An infected person needs to take 13-17 pills daily for six months. If he stops his treatment before the proper time, he runs the risk of developing multi-drug resistant TB, a more virulent and difficult-to-treat form of the disease.

Some state governments in India have begun to use the SIMpill, which was originally implemented in South Africa a decade earlier, to ensure that the treatment process is completed correctly. It gives patients pre-programmed medicine bottles that are able to monitor whether pills are taken at the right time in the right amount. Each time the bottle’s cap is opened the central server is notified. If there is a discrepancy or a missed dosage, the patient and caregiver receives a reminder text message on their phone.

In another innovative use of mobile technology, some states have rolled out the Mobile Technology for Community Health program, which sends patients SMS reminders about appointments, treatments and health tips. The central government has also initiated the Missed Call Campaign, in which a person can give a toll-free number a missed call and have someone call them back to answer their questions.

– Radhika Singh

Sources: Gates Foundation, Gizmodo, MOTECH, Global Health Strategies
Photo: The Hindu

Since the fall of the Soviet Union, social services have progressed slowly in Turkmenistan.  According to the Human Development Index, Turkmenistan is ranked 109th out of 177 nations.  While the country has seen a remarkable increase of 500% in its GDP over the past few years, a huge gap remains in funding for social programs.

Roughly 10% of the population of Turkmenistan has access to the Internet and contemporary technology.  With a lack of qualified teachers and access to education, stimulating technological literacy could be a key factor in creating a sustainable model of schooling.

In 2010, USAID partnered with the Turkmen government to create an “e-Governance” strategy of public record keeping.  Not only has this initiative promoted more transparency as Turkmenistan forges its own identity and moves further away from anachronistic Soviet governance, but it also serves as a key step for placing technology at the forefront of Turkmen education.

Through the PICTT project (Promotion of Information and Communication Technology in Turkmenistan), USAID provided Internet access for over 9,000 current and future teachers.  Another 2,100 were trained specifically on IT and communication equipment.  Furthermore, distance-learning classes are now provided for teachers to work on professional development and share curriculums to provide schooling in rural areas.

While strides have been made in creating a more sustainable infrastructure to support Turkmenistan, more funding for educational programs remains essential in order to capitalize on these gains.  97% of Turkmen children attend primary school, thanks in part to the technological overhaul.  However, that number drops to 85% for secondary school.

– Taylor Diamond

Photo: Beyond Access