Digital Technology: Shaping our Future


Innovation, no matter how simple, it greatly improves healthcare. After surgeries in London hospitals in the 1800s, as many as 25% of patients died. When William Halsted introduced rubber gloves, the mortality rate dropped. Now it’s <1% in good hospitals.

Technology advancements have been revolutionary for people with disabilities, such as insulin pumps, mechanical lungs, hearing aids, prostheses, wheelchairs, etc.

From solar cookers improving indoor air quality to game based assessments connecting unemployed to relevant skill development programs, technology is playing a very crucial role in the advancement of SDGs.

Some many examples – just take a look at some of the projects harnessing machine learning and artificial intelligence for social good as part of the artificial intelligence impact challenge.

Technology Drives the SDGs

  • Partners In Health (PIH)  co-developed OpenMRS, now used by 100+ PIH-supported facilities plus partners in 60+ countries. The electronic medical records system helps clinicians retrieve patient information and make accurate diagnoses and treatment plans more efficiently.
  • Technology is used to mobilize & connect youth with each other and stakeholders. Also does webinars and online trainings to build capacity of youth for advancement of SDGs. We are engaging youth to act towards climate emergency with technological advancement.
  • At USA for UNHCR, they use a hackathon model and academic partnerships to engage the broader tech community for good. Here’s an example of one of their events:
  • TerraCycle is leveraging proprietary technology in the collection and recycling of traditionally non-recyclable materials, stopping them from ending in the landfills or water bodies.
  • RecykalPlatform is creating a platform for traditional informal waste management sector in India by connecting the waste generators, processors and recyclers and thereby assuring transparency and traceability.
  • The scientists behind Golden Rice, have engineered rice crops to provide Vitamin A. Vit A deficiencies kill 4500 children every day and are the main cause of childhood blindness.
  • Scientists at the University of Manchester are using mass spectrometry technologyusing mass spectrometry technology to develop an early diagnostic for Parkinson’s.
  • Some organizations use virtual reality to provide power packed punches that help humanize issues and humanitarian crises, allowing us to walk a mile in peoples shoes.
  • Young refugees can be tech. pioneers. Whether they live in a camp or in a city, people sometimes forget what refugees can be…, such as 🎮 video game creators, 💻Language teachers & Coders.
  • Also, kids and their interest in digital tech has opened up a whole new world of learning in schools. Teachers know that tech motivates kids and catches their attention!

Motivation in the World of Fake News

Actively be on the lookout for positivity. Celebrate small acts of kindness (and big ones!). There is so much goodness that happens everyday.

By connecting with individual stories, we are able to look beyond the broader stereotypes that fake news and trolls often use to create divides between people with different worldviews.

We can’t let hate win – we have to be louder about the good things happening. We need more campaigns like #ReclaimSocial.

We stay motivated by staying focus on good and keep doing the work we are doing. Always verify the source or news/information and verify credibility of source.

Don’t be afraid to admit you don’t understand something! We can’t clear up misinformation unless we know what we’re talking about. We have to be willing to risk our pride and ask “stupid” questions.

Response to Data Security

We need better information privacy law or data protection laws prohibiting the disclosure or misuse of information about private individuals.

I think consent is also crucial here. If companies are going to use our medical data, for example, they need clear permission as to how they can use it and who they can share it with.

Data is personal property because it seems like stealing to use someone else’s data and selling it without the consumers being compensated.

Impact of Tech. on the Future of Work

Technology in global health is exciting, but we should be cautious in embracing technology at the expense of people or communities that perform the work just as efficiently.

Technology will continue to improve who is able to access a global market. As online access increases around the world, individuals previously left behind are able to access a new online labor force.

Moreover, refugees are learning technical skills through online programs but are often restricted within camps. Technology allows them to access a global economy and earn income for their families:

With technological transformation happening faster than before, we will acquire new skills; unlearn old ones. Within the next decade, there will be a large percentage of jobs that haven’t even been created yet.

Through technology, ome organisations have been able to become a fully remote-first organization, allowing them to attract the best and the brightest where ever they may be, better support their team’s happiness, and enable more diversity in perspectives and experiences.

If digital technology is built with care to create direct connections across humanity, accessibility, opportunity, sharing knowledge and collaboration to tackle our world’s largest challenges; ultimately, this would be a healthier world for all.

Brilliance is evenly distributed around the world, yet resources are not. Technology is the most powerful tool we have to narrow this accessibility gap.

Biggest obstacle faced by downtrodden is ignorance of the various government schemes to support and empower them. With a strategic approach, we can leverage artificial intelligence and big data to make these schemes reach every citizen.

Technology has managed to eradicate entire diseases and uplift so many marginalized communities — I’m sure this will continue into the future as well!


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