In the world that most of us live, it is sometimes easy to overlook the benefits that technology provides to people in locations that are not as fortunate as us.
A great Australian example of this is ‘Eyenaemia’ which recently won a major prize at the Microsoft Imagine Cup (a worldwide competition for the development of apps). The app they created allows people to easily test for anaemia, which is a huge heath problem in many developing countries.
Basically you simply pull down your eyelid and take a picture using your mobile phone (a ‘selfie’) and it then gets uploaded to the cloud and analysed. The results are returned to you almost immediately. Traditional methods of testing for for anaemia involve complex and time consuming blood tests. This can now be replaced with a simple app.
If you want to read more about this fantastic Australian application of technology then check out:
Another example of technology in action is the crowd sourced donations site Kiva. Here you are able to band together with others and provide ‘micro loans’ in developing countries. These are very small loans (typically less than $1,000) that disadvantaged people can use to help improve their business.
The loans are paid back in small amounts over a period of time. Even though these loans are provided to disadvantaged people in regions afflicted by natural disasters, wars and the like, there is an almost 99% repayment rate.
Where technology makes a difference is the ability to connect those with funds and those needing the funds. It makes all of this really simply via the web. Frictionless finance is what makes this services so successful and importantly helps make a major difference.
For more information about Kiva check out:
There are great philanthropic technology examples all over the web (such as http://www.donorschoose.org/). Technology is great business enabler but it is also a great equaliser and something we should all be involved in.