According to the World Health Organization, approximately 3 billion people on earth cook with fire. They burn wood, coal, crop waste, or animal dung to prepare meals. However, toxic cooking fumes are responsible for more deaths than tuberculosis, malaria, and HIV combined. Unfortunately, pregnant mothers in developing countries — especially those living in remote and rural areas — often have no understanding of the importance of medical advice during pregnancy.
Intel‘s investment division, Intel Capital, invests globally in ventures and organizations that intend to change the world. Grameen Intel Social Business Ltd., one of the organizations in which Intel Capital invests, focuses on alleviating poverty by supporting micro-ventures and products such as Coel. Coel is a wearable, decorative, water-resistant bangle made of durable plastic. Coel’s battery lasts for ten months without charging and operates independently, without internet connectivity or the need for other devices such as a mobile phone. Coel has two functions. The bracelet is pre-programmed with 80 pregnancy wellness messages in local languages that are delivered to a pregnant woman during the term of her pregnancy. The bangle also has an integrated carbon monoxide sensor and signals the presence of toxic fumes with local language audio messages and with LED alerts.
Grameen Intel expects Coel to be on the market soon. The implications for smart devices that can work for extended periods with onboard sensors, knowledge bases, and both reporting and alert features are exciting for disseminating crucial health and wellness information in remote areas where little or no continuous health care professional may be available. Constructing bracelets in the form of decorated bangles for a culture in which women already wear multiple bracelets is genius.