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Thai College Students Design App to Help Rescue Disaster Survivors

A new student-designed mobile app could make finding disaster survivors much easier.


In the aftermath of every disaster—from Haiti's devastating earthquake to Japan's earthquake and tsunami—one of the challenges rescue workers always face is pinpointing the exact location of survivors. In 2010, four college students from Thailand's Chulalongkorn University in Bangkok—Kriangkrai Pipatvilaikul, 20; Wannapon Suraworachet, 21; Tanon Sirawan, 20; and Jirapat Yaovatsakul, 20—witnessed first-hand the impact of devastating floods on their homeland. So, they came up with a tech-based solution to connect disaster victims with help.

Their effort, Terra Project, uses mobile phones to let survivors "broadcast their location through social networks such as Facebook with one click in the event of a disaster." This week the four students, who call themselves Team NewKrean, headed to New York City for Microsoft's Imagine Cup, a technology competition for socially conscious high school and college students. (we've covered several of the other young finalists here, here, here and here). They shared with us what first got them interested in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) and what's next for their project.

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Dubai Student Designs Mobile Prenatal Care Device

This 20-year-old Dubai student's new mobile device could make childbirth much safer in developing countries.

It’s not hard to guess from his technology competition name—The Hex Pistols—that 20-year-old Shawn Frank is a fan of music. He's also a strong advocate of ensuring that women in developing nations have access to quality prenatal care. Six months ago, while walking to an internship, Frank came up with the idea for momEcare, a mobile device that helps provide medical assistance to pregnant women who can't get to a hospital. Now Frank, who just graduated from the computer science program at the University of Wollongong in Dubai, is headed to Microsoft's Imagine Cup, a technology competition for socially conscious high school and college students happening next week in New York City (we've covered the other young finalists here, here and here). I caught up with him to find out what first sparked his interest in technology and learn more about how momEcare works.

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From School Science Fairs to Designing a Smartphone App That Diagnoses Malaria

These grad students designed Lifelens, an app that lets you snap picture of a blood sample to determine if it's infected with malaria.

What if you could take a picture of a blood sample with your smartphone and have an app tell you if someone has malaria. That's exactly what Lifelens, a breakthrough technology project designed by five young recent college grads and graduate students is able to do. Given the mortality rates of malaria across the developing world, the technology has the potential to save millions of lives.

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