Road traffic injuries (RTIs) claim more than 1.2 million lives annually and are the number one killer of 15-29 year olds worldwide, killing 500 children daily. The scale of the problem will continue to grow as urbanization accelerates. HGHI collaborates with the Save Life Foundation, an Indian non-profit organization, on raising awareness and building coalitions to address this challenge, for example via the 2018 Road Safety For All Symposium.
In the fall of 2019, HGHI served as the client in the Harvard class ES 96, Engineering Problem Solving and Design Project, bringing in the Save Life Foundation and road traffic injuries as a problem for students to tackle in this product design class. As students explain in this video, being asked to solve a real world global health problem helped them understand the complexities of designing products for a very specific, unfamiliar, and challenging context. They decided to develop a drowsiness detection device that monitors a driver’s vital signs via a novel mechanism, which Save Life is ready to support financially and logistically for testing in Indian trucks.
A highlight for us at HGHI was that in addition to working directly with students, we also engaged one of our summer interns, Maxwell Ho. Maxwell had spent the previous summer at Save Life in India and was able to provide the ES 96 students with important information and cultural context. Two students from the class are now applying for funding to make further development of the device their senior project.