Bengaluru: Three Indian inventors have been named the regional grand prize winners of the 2018 ASME Innovation Showcase (ISHOW), a global competition that offers monetary and technical support to help bring design prototypes of social entrepreneurs to populations in need.
The three inventors were judged and selected out of the eight finalists who travelled to Bengaluru to vie for a share of the $500,000 in awards and technical support, the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) said in a statement on Friday.
The three winners are Sanskriti Dawle of Thinkerbell Labs in Bengaluru, Balaji Teegala of Brun Health in New Delhi, and Vinayak Nandalike of Yostra Labs in Bengaluru.
ThinkerBell Labs has won the award for Annie, an affordable audio-tactile device that makes self-learning and classroom teaching of Braille possible.
The device can help improve literacy rates among the visually impaired who cannot afford a Braille display that can cost up to $4,000.
Annie runs on a Raspberry Pi and consists of hardware components such as a refreshable braille display, a digital braille slate, and a braille keyboard — all in one device.
This combination thus helps students learn how to read, write and type, with all modules complementing one another.
Brun Health has been recognised for its labour detection tool, Brun CG, which has the potential to reduce neonatal mortality rates in India. The tool helps in monitoring vital signs and communicating foetal data with clinicians for timely interventions in distant, hard-to-access locations.
Yostra Labs created Sparsh, a portable, hand-held medical device to help clinicians screen diabetic patients for symptoms of peripheral neuropathy, the permanent damage to nerves in the feet, owing to diabetes.
India has approximately 69 million diabetic patients, of which 30 per cent develop diabetic peripheral neuropathy.
The poor are significantly at risk because of inadequate management of their condition, while conventional diabetic peripheral neuropathy screening devices are bulky, not portable, expensive and need trained healthcare workers to operate the device.
Sparsh addresses these issues and can help the poor get adequate treatment for the condition.