Infosys Foundation has identified winners of the Aarohan Social Innovation Awards 2023 across three categories: Healthcare, Education and Women Empowerment.
The winners were selected from a pool of nearly 2,400 submissions by a distinguished jury comprising of:
Subrahmanyam Prasad Muddam and Akitha Kolloju
Innovation: nLite 360 - an advanced, portable, standalone, and battery-powered smart phototherapy device that provides customized treatment for severe and dynamic jaundice conditions.
Around 15% to 45% of newborns develop severe neonatal jaundice in middle- and lower-income countries and overall, 80% of premature babies and 60% of term babies get jaundice. Yet options for treatment and diagnosis in rural areas remain limited. nLite addresses the unmet needs in the mother and childcare sector. It comes with an algorithm that can detect the level of risk and displays the appropriate mode of treatment accordingly.
Innovation: Smart Vision Glasses - an AI-enriched assistive device that helps people with visual disabilities identify objects and people, gauge distance, and read books in Indian regional languages.
Smart Vision Glasses is a device that has an electronic brain. It uses AI and machine learning, which transforms the world of the visually impaired into a more interactive, interesting, and independent one. The user can read their favorite books, catch up with the news on magazines and newspapers, identify Indian currency notes, be independently mobile while being able to identify things around them. There is an associated mobile app that also enables their friends and family to track their location.
Shelter Associates (NGO)
Innovation: One Home One Toilet - a data-driven model focused on facilitating sanitized household toilets for underprivileged urban women.
Adopting a data-driven, community-centric and multi-stakeholder approach, One Home One Toilet (OHOT) aims at providing good quality toilets to houses in urban slums. They map houses using google plus code – a system to create a unique identification number. Shelter Associates works in partnership with urban local bodies (ULBs) for construction of drainage lines, while the funding for these toilets is jointly borne by the individual and the CSR contribution received by the NGO.
Narayana Rao Sripada, Manmohan Jain and Venkat Yechuri
Innovation: Swaasa - an artificial intelligence platform that can be used for the screening and diagnosis of respiratory diseases.
Swaasa is engineered to make accurate assessments of lung health using cough sounds. Driven by AI and Machine Learning, Swaasa uses Audiometric Analysis to decode the information extracted from cough sounds and other vital information to provide insights into the wellbeing of the lungs. Healthcare practitioners can use it to make an informed diagnosis of lung health and suggest a course of action. It can identify underlying respiratory lung conditions by analyzing a 10 second (solicited) cough sound recording.
Prof. Sai Siva Gorthi, Arun Balasubramanian, Rajesh Srinivasan, and Yatish Prasad Dasari
Innovation: SickleCert – a cost-effective and accurate point-of-care test for sickle-cell anemia that can also be used in prognosis and treatment setup.
Sickle-Cell Anemia is the most common severe monogenic disorder in the world (20 million cases in India), making access to affordable diagnostic tests crucial. Current screening tests are not specific and can take up to 5-7 days. SickleCert is a cost effective and highly accurate quantitative test for sickle cell anemia, which can also be used in prognosis and treatment setup.
John Joy and Sanjay K Pillai
Innovation: Portia - a self-contained portable oxygen generator providing continuous, uninterrupted supply of medical-grade oxygen.
In India, the only source of emergency oxygen is found in an ambulance. With 35,000 ambulances for a 140-crore population, ambulance penetration and response time is slow in urban areas and very poor in rural, semi-rural, semi-urban areas. Portia is a battery-operated portable oxygen generator providing a continuous, uninterrupted supply of medical grade oxygen on demand during pre-hospital and/or pre-ambulatory medical emergencies and without any reliance on electricity, batteries, or a skilled healthcare resource.
Mayur U Shetty
Innovation: Emvólio - a portable, battery-powered refrigeration device for last-mile transport of vaccines.
All vaccines used in human medicine, including both freeze-dried and liquid forms, must be stored in the dark between 35°F (2°C) and 45°F (8°C), and exposure to temperatures outside the recommended range can lead to reduced protection against infectious diseases. Emvólio, is a portable refrigeration device that will strictly maintain any preset temperature for over 12 hours for last-mile transport of vaccines even in extreme temperature and humid conditions. It’s 2 litre capacity enables it to carry 30-50 vials, which is a standard requirement for a day-long immunization campaign.
Innovation: Modha Pedal Operating Machine – a machine that aims to eradicate chronic knee pain and lower back pain issues faced by women handloom weavers.
Handloom weavers (72% of who are women) across the country have to lift about 20-45 kgs, 5000-8000 times a day with both legs to operate the loom, resulting in severe knee and lower back pain. Over time, the pain caused by weaving on the loom becomes unbearably severe, causing weavers to retire early. A motor is attached to the loom, which diverts the weight to be lifted, to the motor fitted to the machine. It requires close to zero maintenance.
Making of Aarohan Social Innovation Awards 2023
Innovations have the power to change the world. More so when they are thought from the heart. A heart that wants to help people live better, shape societies, and transform lives. And that is how Social Innovation is born. Aarohan Social Innovation Awards by Infosys Foundation not only celebrates such innovations but believes in giving wings to ideas by helping social innovators scale-up and touch more lives.
Jury Speak: Dr. Pratima Murthy, Director and HOD of Psychiatry, NIMHANS
Dr. Pratima Murthy shares her insights on the need for social innovation in the country, her firsthand experience of having been part of the jury, and how Aarohan Awards is helping enlarge the scope of innovations.
Jury Speak: Padma Shri Mr. Arvind Gupta, renowned toy inventor and science expert
Drawing from his first-hand experience of having been part of previous Aarohan editions, Mr. Arvind Gupta speaks about the need for social innovation in India and how Aarohan Awards is helping innovators scale up and solve real-world problems.
Jury Speak: Ms. Sairee Chahal, serial entrepreneur, angel investor, and Founder of SHEROES and Mahila Money
Ms. Sairee Chahal talks about the importance of finding business models that belong to grassroots, how the hardest of problems can be solved through social innovations, and how Aarohan Awards is opening doors to young innovators.
Jury Speak: Sumit Virmani, Trustee, Infosys Foundation
Sumit Virmani shares his perspectives on how the innovation landscape in India is changing, his thoughts on the innovations from the 2023 edition, how Aarohan Awards is bringing about positive change, and shares a message with social innovators across the country.
Jury Speak: Sunil Kumar Dhareshwar, Trustee, Infosys Foundation
Sunil shares his thoughts on the need for social innovation in India, about the impact that is being brought about through Aarohan Awards, and shares a message with social innovators across the country.