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

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

Wednesday, 24 April 2013

Dr. William Thies

Dr. William Thies
Researcher, Microsoft Research India

Dr. William Thies a researcher at Microsoft India, held a public lecture at Carnegie Mellon University in Rwanda where he talked about the global spread of mobile phones and how this has ignited broad aspirations regarding the potential role of technology in improving health in impoverished communities. However, researchers and policymakers are often met with surprises when deploying new technologies in resource-poor environments.

In this talk, Dr. William Thies described lessons learned in deploying technologies for health and human development with colleagues in India over the past five years. Dr. William Thies lecture was structured 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. Where he went ahead and highlighted both successes and failures, and synthesized the experiences into a set of recommendations for future mHealth interventions.

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.

Watch the video of the Bill Theis Talk at Carnegie Mellon University in Rwanda.