Wednesday, April 12, 2006

The Vinegar Test

Interesting technology for developing countries - a lot more going on, other than just cheap computing.

The vinegar test for cervical cancer - here.

"At the moment, five per cent of women in the developing world are screened for cervical cancer. In industrialised nations the figure is 70%.

Vinegar - acetic acid - could be used where the standard Pap smear is unavailable or too expensive."

"The researchers found that both techniques had a similar detection rate.

It could help health care workers make an instant decision as to whether a patient needs further treatment.

This is an important factor in areas where women live far from medical facilities.

Cervical cancer is one of the most common cancers affecting women, killing 200,000 each year.

. . . where scientists examine the cells for signs of pre-cancerous changes
It is the leading cause of cancer deaths in parts of Africa, Asia and Latin America.

The earlier it is detected, the better the chances of defeating it. If it is caught before it spreads beyond the cervix, 95% of cases are curable."

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

PCs for the 3rd world - The saga continues

So intel jumps onboard. The tech review article here. A older post on Negroponte's plan.

"On Wednesday, Intel unveiled a product it has demonstrated several times in recent months -- the Community PC, which is designed for use in rural India.

That PC reflects design ethnography of the sort Salvador practices. The Community PC is rugged, designed to withstand temperatures of up to 45 degrees Celsius and equipped with a special monitor and filters to deal with dust. It comes with a software-restore key that will rebuild the system's software at a keystroke if the PC fails. Finally, it can use a car battery as a backup power source, which is useful in areas where power failures are a daily fact of life. The PC will switch automatically between AC and DC power." - The technology review

This is not a $100 dream. Its more than twice the price, but a more realistic plan. Because selling a computer is not the ultimate goal. To service it, maintain it and build infrastructure for all this costs $$ too.