Distinguished Lecture by Dr. William Thies-Carnegie Mellon University in Rwanda - Carnegie Mellon University

Distinguished Lecture: "Deploying mHealth Technologies in India:  Successes, Failures, and Lessons Learned"

By Dr. William Thies, Researcher, Microsoft Research India

18h30, Wednesday, 24 April 2013
CMU-R, 4th Floor Telecom House

Dr. William Thies

Abstract: The global spread of mobile phones has ignited broad aspirations regarding the potential role of technology in improving health in impoverished communities. However, researchers and policymakers often meet with surprises when deploying new technologies in resource-poor environments.

In this talk, I will describe lessons learned in deploying technologies for health and human development with colleagues in India over the past five years. I will structure the talk around three case studies: a voice portal for citizen reporting, a biometric system for tracking tuberculosis medications, and a mobile data collection tool for childhood malnutrition.

I will highlight both successes and failures, and synthesize our experiences into a set of recommendations for future mHealth interventions.

Biography: Bill Thies has been a researcher at Microsoft Research India since 2008.  His research focuses on the design and evaluation of technologies that contribute to the socioeconomic development of low-income communities (ICT4D), with a focus on healthcare and education. 

He is also co-founder of Innovators In Health, a non-profit organization that combats tuberculosis in rural areas.  Before moving to India, Bill earned all of his degrees from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, culminating in a Ph.D. in computer science. 

His dissertation on programming languages was the recipient of the ACM SIGPLAN Outstanding Doctoral Dissertation award.