Sunday, August 18, 2013

How To Never Forget An Appointment - Wear It!

Photo Credit: Fast Company & Alma Sana Inc.

Silicon bracelets have a long and charitable past, most prominently known through LIVESTRONG to raise awareness and funds for cancer.  The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation has found a new role for the bracelet: medical appointment reminders.

With more than 20 shots required to get a child completely immunized, medically taking care of a newborn can be a challenging experience.  Imagine if you didn't have a phone reminder or a fridge to put a "save the date" on?  A Cornell student working in Peru noticed a problem - mothers were not making the trek down to the clinic for immunizations for their children.  Mothers would forget or be unable to read the reminders.  This student, Lauren Braun, thought up a genius idea -- why not take a silicon bracelet and put markings on it to alert the mother when to visit a clinic and what the appointment would be for?  Using universally-understandable numbers and symbols, Braun's idea allows mothers to easily track all the shots needed for the first four years of a child's life.

The Gates Foundation also realized the genius of this idea; Lauren's non-profit now has a grant to pilot the idea with hope for more funding on the way.  Mothers and nurses in Peru and Ecuador are starting to use the easy bracelet, and this idea will hopefully spread to other countries and in-need areas as well.  Learn more about this great invention in Fast Company.

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