Monday, June 20, 2011

Big Challenge for Malaria – The New Zealand Team for Imagine Cup NY Final

Give your attention to "People's Choice Award" for this team!!!
Click Here to Vote this Team!!!

Malaria is still one of the biggest problems in the world, as well as known as one of MDGs (Millennium Development Goals). Every year, it affects 300 million people around the world with up to 1 million deaths. Even though there have been lots of actions to deal with this tough problem, the situation is still hard.

However, even in such a difficult time, we can see people who are enthusiastic for solving those world toughest problems in the world by using the power of technology. This time let me introduce a New Zealand Team for Imagine Cup NY Final who are challenging Malaria by using the Technology of Microsoft.

OneBuzz, the name of the team, uses innovative technology to revolutionize the fight against malaria and give the energy of life to people. The below is about the interview I’ve done with them.

How does it work??
OneBuzz is a system that pulls together disparate datasets including satellite imagery, text messages and government health, climate and GIS datasets. OneBuzz utilizes the information in the data sets to identify areas around the world that are most at risk of malarial mosquito infestation based on recent rainfall patterns and past experience. Once those areas have been identified, OneBuzz helps optimize stockpiling, transportation and deployment of anti-malarial measures such as nets, vaccines and insecticide sprays.

What was the inspiration for your entry??
For the OneBuzz team, this fight against malaria is personal. Vinny’s mother had malaria while she was pregnant and Vinny had it as well when he was growing up. The team saw Imagine Cup as a great platform to showcase that technology from the developed countries could be adapted and used effectively to combat malaria in developing nations.

What do you think the future of your project??
The Imagine Cup is only the beginning of our journey in the fight against malaria; we are committed to making this idea into a reality. Our aim is to conduct field trials of our system in India over the coming months, while continuously improving our solution with the help of leading researchers in malaria epidemiology. Among them is Dr. Nick Douglas from Oxford University and Dr. John Marshall from Imperial College London, with whom we are further developing our algorithms to help fight malaria.

Since the problem is so complicated it can be solved only when a variety of organizations, technologies, and most importantly, people can cooperate with each other effectively to challenge the problem. In my opinion, the team is on the right track by challenging a huge global problem, having a strong idea, executing this with people and organisations in the field, and has the passion to make this a reality.

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