Cell phones used as medical instruments in Africa, Asia; US may change regulatory policy

Cell phones are being used as medical instruments in underdeveloped nations, extending highly cost-effective health care to underserved villages and rural areas. A team led by Daniel Fletcher, a Bioengineering Professor at the University of California at Berkeley has developed inexpensive conversions of cell phones into medical instruments, using clip-on lenses that cost one dollar or less. Fletcher's team has on-the-ground tests in Cameroon screening for parasitic worm infections and in Thailand screening for retinal diseases. "By attaching a simple set of lenses to a Nokia phone borrowed from my sister," wrote Fletcher, "we were able to image blood cells,…

The New Innovation Battlegrounds Are City Hall And The State House

Colorado is currently considering proposals to outlaw Uber and other services that enable passengers to book a car service from their smartphones. Uber and its competitors face similar challenges from Los Angeles to Las Vegas to Washington, DC. In May, the North Carolina State Senate voted unanimously to prohibit Tesla Motors, the innovative electric car company, from selling cars directly to consumers, including via the Internet. The Texas legislature recently retained similar prohibitions until at least 2015….

Public-private partnerships drive mobile phone innovation in Taiwan

TAIPEI–Innovations in mobile phone applications here are driven and enabled by public-private partnerships at the national and local levels. At the national level, the government embarked on an eTaiwan initiative ten years ago, which evolved in 2007 into Mobile Taiwan, according to Steve Lin of the country's Ministry of Economic Affairs, during an interview here. Now, Mobile Taiwan is being implemented in Mobile Education and in access to all government services via handheld devices. And these government efforts, says Lin, are to create catalysts to drive innovation in "value-added" industries, patterned after US national laboratories and incubation centers….

Tech@State

The Center on Communication Leadership & Policy's Research Director, Mark Latonero, along with senior fellows, Jeremy Curtin and Adam Clayton Powell III, participated in the Tech@State Conference on Civil Society 2.0, which took place from November 4-5, 2010, at the US Department of State and World Bank in Washington, D.C. The conference was organized around several themes: transparency and engagement, economic opportunity, the position of science, technology, and the environment, risk management in disaster zones, and the structure and status of civil society in frail states. Several notable speakers highlighted the conference. Alec Ross, Senior Advisor for Innovation, Office of…

NPR chief Vivian Schiller: Don’t take the work of news gatherers for granted

At this time of tremendous upheaval in American news media, its leaders should not focus on transformation at the expense of fortifying and expanding concrete, on-the-ground reporting. That was the message offered Thursday by NPR President and CEO Vivian Schiller as she delivered the James L. Loper Lecture in Public Service Broadcasting at USC Annenberg. "For well over a decade, at gatherings like this, news people have obsessed about transformational technologies, vanishing business models and new paradigms of mass communication," Schiller told an audience of students, faculty members and leaders of influential Los Angeles-area media who gathered at USC Town…

CCLP panel explores technology and education with FCC Chairman Genachowski

On Tuesday, September 21, CCLP Director Geoffrey Cowan (pictured, right) led a discussion on the intersection of technology and education in the 21st century. The panel, featuring FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski (left), kicked off a half-day event called "Back to School: Learning in a Digital Age," sponsored by USC Annenberg's Center on Communication Leadership (CCLP), Common Sense Media, PBS Kids and The Children's Partnership. Leaders in technology and education discussed the benefits of equipping children and educators digitally – both inside and outside of the classroom. "The need far exceeds the risk," said Genachowski. "When our schools win, our country…