The Future Of Mining Safety

The winning team of this year’s Intel Global Challenge, a business plan competition that asks students to take on the world’s biggest issues through the use of technology, has come up with a way to possibly avoid the silicosis plague. Developed by a team of students from Chile, the Mobile Monitoring Station is a sensor-filled jacket that keeps track of vital signs like heart rate along with levels of particulate matter, which can contribute to lung disease.

The station lets workers monitor themselves via a smartphone app, while safety managers can access all of the workers' data on a website. If a worker’s signals go above certain thresholds–perhaps by inhaling more particulate matter over a long period of time than is safe–alerts will go off. The jacket will vibrate and the system will send emails to safety managers.

via A Jacket That Prevents Miners From Getting Lung Disease–Built By Genius Students

Another great example of how empathy can drive innovation at any age. The idea becomes more interesting as a possible inspiration for other environmentally related respiratory risks the likes of which we’re seeing in China.