Google is showing its philanthropist side by pledging $20 million through its Google.org branch, that is planned to work alongside various charities and non-profit organizations, all in the name of improving the lives of people with various disabilities by employing high-tech solutions.
The money will support “nonprofits using emerging technologies to increase independence for people living with disabilities”, according to a Google representative.
The principal beneficiaries of the Google Impact Challenge: Disabilities program will be those people whose cases can be improved by the use of cutting edge technology, like 3D-printing and bionic limbs. In order to achieve this goal, NGO’s will send in their ideas for high-tech prosthetic devices and then Google will pick out the most promising ones and offer them funding and access to further resources.
There are some projects that have already been put into motion. The most impressive one among them is the one conducted with the Enable Community, that has revolutionized the world of prosthetic limbs by using 3D printers at the core of their manufacturing process.
Therefore, it can make the prosthetic limbs that so many people are in need of for prices around $100. In the current Enable-Google project, children injured in the war in Sudan are set to receive 3D printed limbs, that they will have made especially to their needs and that will be fitted according to their particular features.
The Enable Community program began last year and was able to continue helping children after Google.org has awarded them $600,000. This is a perfect example of the type of NGO’s that will be eligible for funding from Google.
Another amazing foundation that has received $500,000 form Google.org is World Wide Hearing, that plans to perfect a highly accessible diagnosis kit meant to be used in low-income countries for the identification of auditory conditions.
This kit will make use of smartphone technology to detect a wide range of hearing problems, thus providing an extremely important service for virtually no cost. Furthermore, the same technology will be utilized in order to fit these patients with hearing aids.
The Google Impact Challenge: Disabilities program plans to change the face of disability for good and make it so that there is some kind of high-tech device or revolutionary gizmo that helps these people live their very own version of a normal life.
It was Google’s research branch, Google X that came up with a specialized spoon that enables patients suffering from Parkinson’s disease to feed themselves. And it is the company’s hope that with the help of brilliant minds out there, many more of these high-tech rescue gizmos will make their way into the hands of those who need them the most.
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