It has been quite the year for our team here at InSTEDD and our Innovation Labs in Southeast Asia and Latin America.  As we prepare to enter the year ahead we wanted to take a moment to look back over a few of our highlights from 2011.

Presented: TEDx Phnom Penh

In February, Channe Suy, Product Manager at iLab Southeast Asia gave an inspiring talk at TEDx Phnom Penh about how we can create sustainable solutions to improve our future by building the capacity of local communities through knowledge sharing.  This is one of our guiding principles and Channe was able to share about our work in capacity building in Southeast Asia though the iLab.




Launched: iLab Latin America

A few months later in April we officially launched our second innovation lab! iLab Latin America was born from our partnership with Manas, a Buenos Aires-based software development and consulting firm that we had already been working with on InSTEDD projects all over the world.  Their goal would be to create a center for technological innovation tailored to the region’s unique needs.




Eliminating Malaria: Malaria Day Zero Collaboration

August was a busy month for iLab Southeast Asia.  First came the trainings for health care workers in the Kampot province of Cambodia on the Malaria Day Zero web application with SMS text messaging for reporting of malaria cases. Village health care workers were also trained on the system and provided with a solar cell and mobile phone in order to employ the reporting system.  Also in August, iLab Southeast Asia set out to cut down on the current time of 1-2 weeks for obtaining TB test results.  And thus the Lab Result Alert System was developed.


Watchfire: A Collaboration with The Red Cross and Cisco

As October rolled around, we were awarded a seed grant from Cisco Systems for the development of a program to support shared safety, self reliance and situational awareness during a public crisis in the Bay Area.  For this project, we worked with the Red Cross to design, develop and test an emergency response team assembly tool called Watchfire.




Winner: TrueBites wins the Ashoka Changemakers Citizen Media Competition

In November we were honored to be chosen as a finalist in the Ashoka Changemakers Citizen Media competition.  The iLab Latin America’s idea was for a new kind of news where information is broken into small bites and then all those bites are brought together to create a multi-perspective story.  Thanks to all those who supported us with their votes, the idea for TrueBites was one of four winners!




Released: New Free and Open Source Tools

Throughout 2011, we released several new technologies.  They are all not only free and open source but also can be combined with our other technologies to develop integrated systems and individualized programs to support a multitude of global health initiatives.


 Pollit is a real-time feedback tool that lets you collect status updates, opinions and more all via mobile phones.



Remindem lets you set up a schedule of tips, reminders or messages that will be sent via SMS messages to list subscribers.  Like all of our tools, they can be used individually or paired with other tools to create more complete solutions.


Verboice,  which transcends language and literacy barriers because it allows anyone to create and run applications that interact via voice.  This allows your users to listen and record messages in their own language and dialect.  Verboice was also the system that Baby Monitor– a mobile application that we developed for the Population Council.

Verboice is also the foundation for Watchfire, the emergency response team assembly tool we developed for the Bay Area Red Cross with funding from Cisco.



These are just a few of our technologies and highlights from 2011.  But we couldn’t have done it without our community’s continued support.  Thank you from all of us for supporting us this past year with your donations, your enthusiasm and your kind words in blogs, articles and social media.  We are looking forward to the challenges and triumphs that await us all in 2012 and to moving closer to our vision of a world where communities everywhere design and use technology to continuously improve their health, safety and development.