Ultrasound machines are expensive, so these 2 college kids came up with a better plan.
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Microsoft Philanthropies

Kampala, Uganda, is experiencing a tech innovation boom.

The city has become a hub for young social entrepreneurs who want to use technology to improve lives in their communities. Take, for example, Joshua Okello:


All images via TakePart Live/YouTube.

As a college student, Joshua and his friend, Aaron Tushabe, developed their own ultrasound app for smartphones.

Why was this necessary? Well, Uganda struggles with high rates of infant and maternal mortality.

A lack of resources and equipment coupled with long travel distances to medical facilities has made it difficult for expectant mothers to get the health care they need. And most clinics can't afford an ultrasound machine, so the midwife at the clinic usually ends up using a 100-year-old device called a Pinard horn to monitor a baby's heartbeat.

A Pinard horn — not exactly high tech.

Joshua and Aaron figured out that by hooking up the Pinard horn to a new phone app, they could create a portable, affordable, and easier-to-use alternative. WinSenga was born.

WinSenga can diagnose, alert, and suggest courses of action for expecting moms — no big, expensive equipment required.

And while the Pinard horn is difficult to use and needs a very skilled midwife to read it correctly, much newer midwives can use WinSenga.

It's an accessible, affordable marriage between two technologies, one old and one new, that can dramatically improve care for expectant mothers.

Healthier mommas and babies? WIN.

WinSenga got a $50,000 Imagine Cup grant from Microsoft in 2012 and has gone through numerous iterations since then.

The team is currently working on the third prototype. The biggest challenge they've faced, though, says Joshua, is "finance and then mindset. There is a general mindset that things that are made in Africa are not good enough. ... As African innovators we have something really big to offer to the world stage. "


For more info about the WinSenga and to lean about another remarkable Ugandan invention — an app for diagnosing malaria — check out this video:

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One little girl took pictures of her school lunches. The Internet responded — and so did the school.

If you listened to traditional news media (and sometimes social media), you'd begin to think the Internet and technology are bad for kids. Or kids are bad for technology. Here's a fascinating alternative idea.

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Norton

This article originally appeared on 03.31.15

Kids can innovate, create, and imagine in ways that are fresh and inspiring — when we "allow" them to do so, anyway. Despite the tendency for parents to freak out because their kids are spending more and more time with technology in schools, and the tendency for schools themselves to set extremely restrictive limits on the usage of such technology, there's a solid argument for letting them be free to imagine and then make it happen.

It's not a stretch to say the kids in this video are on the cutting edge. Some of the results he talks about in the video at the bottom are quite impressive.

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