Healthcare has emerged as the ideal space to link up wearable technology with social good. UNICEF is one such example, with its use of a low-tech wearable device for measuring the nutrition levels of children in developing regions.
The international organisation has recently teamed up with Target to launch the Kid Power Band, a fitness wearable that encourages kids to become more active while at the same time helping to feed undernourished children around the world. The device works like any standard pedometer to record activity. By completing a certain number of steps, kids finish “missions” that unlock parcels of food for undernourished kids. This way, the more active the person, the more they give.
UNICEF has also recently announced the winners of its “Wearables for Good” design challenge. The devices that came out on top include a necklace that stores electronic health data to track child immunisation and a wearable soap that helps limit the spread of infectious diseases by encouraging hand-washing.
UNICEF Kid Power Wireless Activity Bluetooth Band
All these initiatives are part of UNICEF’s Wearables for Good Challenge, a global competition to source “innovative and affordable wearable solutions” that can help women and children across the world. This week, the United Nations Children’s Fund will be showing off these efforts in Chicago, where the organization will be issuing over 6,000 wearables to local elementary school students. The wearables will be integrated with UNICEF’s Kid Power school program, enabling students to help people around the world by being active. To date, this program has unlocked over 301,000 food packets.
“Every step that Chicago kids take as part of the UNICEF Kid Power school program will bring them one step closer to ending global malnutrition, and unite them with thousands of other kids across the country who are also saving the lives,” said Casey Marsh, Midwest Managing Director, U.S. Fund for UNICEF.
“This is a powerful way for students to understand and get excited about their ability to impact the global community in a positive way. We’re hoping that this educational initiative gets kids, their families and our community involved to get active and save lives.”