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Research from MIT and elsewhere have developed a mobile app that uses computer-vision techniques and AI to detect post-surgery signs of infection as part of an effort to help community workers in Kirehe, a district in Rwanda’s Eastern province, reports Shefali Malhotra for Science. “The researchers are now improving the app so it can be used across more diverse populations such as in Ghana and parts of South America,” writes Malhotra.


Forbes contributor Jack Kelly spotlights Ginger, an MIT startup that has created “a smartphone-based technology app helps identify patterns of anxiety, stress and depression.”

BBC News

BBC reporter Lorelei Mihala highlights DriveWell, an app developed by Profs. Hari Balakrishnan and Sam Madden, aimed at addressing the problem of distracted driving. “We wanted to show that smartphones could be used to make drivers better,” says Balakrishnan.


In an article for Salon, Prof. Christopher Knittel notes there is a long history of discrimination against African-Americans in the transportation industry. While Prof. Knittel’s research shows ride-sharing services have decreased wait times in lower income areas, it also found “more frequent cancellations when a passenger used stereotypically African-American-sounding names,” among other discriminatory practices. 

Boston Globe

Mina Corpuz writes for The Boston Globe that the MBTA is releasing a new app, developed by MIT researchers, called QualiT that will provide passengers with an opportunity to anonymously rate their bus trips and give feedback. Corpuz explains that the app will, “allow riders to see their travel on a map and rate their trips after getting off the bus.”

Associated Press

MIT researchers have developed an application to help improve driver safety, according to the Associated Press. The app, “measures driving behaviors including speeding, acceleration, hard turning, harsh braking and phone distractions. The results can then be reviewed…and scores posted on a leaderboard where drivers can compare one another.”


Alumnus Anmol Madan, co-founder and CEO of MIT startup, writes for The Huffington Post about how to improve mental health care in the U.S. In his piece, Madan highlights how MIT researchers have found “vast potential for the application of mobile sensing to mental health.”

Boston Globe

 In an article for The Boston Globe, Michael Andor Brodeur writes about the Reality Editor app, which was designed by researchers at the MIT Media Lab to allow users to connect and control physical objects. The app “could turn your smart home into a well-oiled machine (just with no oil or machines).”


In an article for BetaBoston, Janelle Nanos writes about Jana, an MIT startup that allows mobile phone users in developing countries to access the Internet for free.  “We’re empowering people with connectivity and we’re not limiting how they’re using that connectivity,” explains Jana founder and MIT alumnus Nathan Eagle. 

The Washington Post

Caitlin Dewey writes for The Washington Post about MIT startup Charitweet, which aims to make supporting charitable causes easier. “Ecommerce has just made it so easy for me to send money, except when it comes to giving. … Why should donating to charity be harder than buying something on Amazon?” says Charitweet co-founder Charles Huang. 


Sacha Pfeiffer and Lynn Jolicoeur of WBUR report on Cambridge Mobile Telematics, a company founded by MIT Professor Hari Balakrishnan to help improve driver safety. The company developed an app that “automatically detects when you’re in the car and driving, it detects when you’ve stopped driving, and then it provides feedback to you,” Pfeiffer and Jolicoeur report. 


MIT alumnus Robert R. Morris writes about his work developing a crowdsourcing application to help individuals cope with depression. Users can post descriptions of their troubles and within minutes, “a crowd of helpers sends you anonymous feedback. The responses are often very short, but guided by techniques used in many modern therapies,” Morris explains. 


Liz Stinson writes for Wired about THAW, a project out of the MIT Media Lab that allows screens on smart devices to interact with one another. "We don’t really think of it as a product,” says Media Lab student Phillip Schoessler. “We’ve really just touched the surface of the applications.” 


In a piece for Slate about using smart phone to diagnose medical conditions, Aimee Swartz writes about work by MIT Media Lab Fellow Max Little on algorithms that could help smart phones diagnose Parkinson’s disease. The algorithm “will detect specific variations in voice quality, such as tremors, breathlessness, and vocal weakness,” writes Swartz.

The New York Times

Penelope Green writes for The New York Times about “Enchanted Objects: Design, Human Desire and the Internet of Things” by David Rose of the MIT Media Lab. Rose proposes that new technologies in the home actually mimic the qualities found in magical tools in fantasy and folklore.