By Seher Dareen
A social business IT company has created COEL, a smart bangle that gives pregnant women audio tips during their term of pregnancy. It is specifically made for women in rural and remote areas who cannot access maternal healthcare facilities easily.
Grameen Trust, a Bangladeshi non-profit trust, along with Intel Social Business Ltd, has come up with Carbon Monoxide Exposure Limiter, or COEL. The collaboration, now called Grameen Intel Social Business Ltd, defines itself as providing “IT solutions for rural entrepreneurs who provide a service using computing technology in their local communities.”
This bangle has been made keeping in mind the millions of women who have poor access to healthcare and hence know little about their pregnancy term, and who need regular advice on how to keep themselves safe, and in turn, keep their child safe. It also focuses on women who still use charcoal, wood or animal dung in rural areas to cook their food in closed spaces, making it a potentially hazardous environment for the new baby. These toxic CO (carbon monoxide) fumes are known to cause fetal deaths and stillborn children after severe exposure.
In a gist, the COEL bangle, is a wearable maternal wellness device that beeps and flashes red when it detects high levels of carbon monoxide around pregnant women. It also helps women by providing reminders, warnings and advice about things like vaccinations, diet, and cramps, throughout their pregnancy.
It doesn’t need any charging or connectivity — the bangle has a 10-month battery life with messages that are pre-recorded into it. It is also water resistant. Made from durable, high quality plastic, it can also be recharged and used by other women. The instructions are available in local language audio too.
This product is to be brought out in India (it’s been used in rural Bangladesh) in the markets this year. The starting price has been kept at $15, or roughly 1000 rupees.