Tech for Good Ten: apps helping pregnant women and people with communication difficulties, an NYC govtech tool, water purification, a smartphone disease detector and more

24th January 2017 Posted by: Sam Firman

Welcome to the Tech For Good Ten, where we share the best 10 links in the Tech For Good world from the past seven days.


We’re aiming to share a wide range of links, meeting the people behind the latest digital innovations, showcasing the greatest tech for good products, looking at the future of social change technology, and exploring the themes and social issues that technology is tackling locally and globally.


Most importantly, we’ll be meeting the people and institutions who are actually using this technology, showing the positive difference it makes in their lives, their communities and the world around them.


We’re also encouraging debate around “What exactly is Tech For Good?” Join the debate in the comments below. We’re here to discuss all things Tech For Good. Got a link to share with the Tech For Good Team? Tweet us at  @techfotgoodtv  or leave a comment on our Facebook page.


Tech For Good Ten | 24.01.2017


1//  Babee on Board: helping pregnant women find seats on public transport

A new app has launched in the UK aimed at helping pregnant women get seats on public transport. Babee on Board consists of two companion apps that communicate via Bluetooth. Once an alert is triggered, people nearby with the app receive a message saying there is someone who needs to sit down. The app containing the alert button costs £3.99, which will be donated to a children's charity.


2//  Jamcard: encouraging patience for people with communication difficulties

Another new app has been released which allows people with communication barriers such as learning disabilities or difficulties, autism, Asperger’s or a brain injury to alert staff in retail outlets, public transport and other areas of public life that the cardholder needs some patience and time when interacting with them.


3// Councilmatic: making council updates accessible in NYC

The New York City council has released an excellent new tool which allows citizens to receive curated email updates on a wide range of council activities. It allows users to track, and receive updates on, specific councillors or bills with minimal hassle. An excellent move towards greater accessibility of political activity.


4//  Mobile-phone attachment used to detect diseases

A mobile phone 'case' has been used to detect cancer-related mutations in DNA for the first time. Using a microscope attached to a mobile phone, it was possible for molecular scientists to diagnose problems with tumours.


5//  Detecting diseases through voice analysis

A US startup called Canary Speech is developing a way of analysing conversations using machine learning to test for a number of neurological and cognitive diseases, ranging from Parkinson's to dementia.


6//  Researchers design tech that purifies sewage water

Researchers at the University of Edinburgh have developed a new solar-powered water purification system that decontaminates sewage water - as opposed to river water - and makes it safe to drink. This technology solves two problems at once by providing clean drinking water and by reducing the spread of disease caused by untreated sewage, and is set for a five-month pilot in India.


7//  New GovLab resource exploring power of data collaboratives

DataCollaboratives.org is a new GovLab resource which seeks to spur greater experimentation in the field of data collectives: an emerging form of public-private partnership in which participants from different sectors — including private companies, research institutions and government agencies — exchange data to help solve public problems.


8//  TechCrunch Disrupt NY applications open

Applications for Startup Battlefield at Disrupt New York are now open. TechCrunch are searching for new, up-and-coming startups - including tech-for-good startups - to launch and compete on the TechCrunch Disrupt New York stage.


9//  What's in a deleted tweet?

Politwoops is an archive of public tweets, deleted by politicians. Whilst it’s important to emphasise that most deleted tweets are likely innocuous, this is an incredibly simple way of potentially unearthing telling things politicians are seeking to hide.


10// Adidas designs dissolvable trainers

Adidas has designed a pair of trainers that dissolve when the user is finished with them. Although limited in impact in the short-term, the move could signal a wider long-term shift in attitudes and approaches to design and consumption.

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