MIT Changes the World

Not all change is in the realm of shopping. A professor at MIT offered a challenge to his students: “Can you make a cell phone that will change the world?” Jhonatan Rotberg, who was sent to teach MIT’s NextLab by his employer, Telmex, one of Latin America’s largest telcoms, started the course to “bring cellular technology to the ‘90 percent of people’ who fall outside of the marketing plans of most phone companies”, the Boston Globe reports. And the students have come up with about two dozen projects and three start-up ventures that will work with communities in developing nations. One of the start-ups, a nonprofit called Moca, started a program in the Philippines which uses smartphones to transmit X-rays from remote locations to doctors with more sophisticated diagnosing ability.  Other projects provide payment services to people in remote locations where there are no banks; and enable farmers to make direct deals to sell their crops without using expensive middlemen.

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