TB Med Tracker

Dr. Shelly Batra of Operation ASHA will travel to Silicon Valley in November to accept a Tech Award.

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By Lisa Tsering Also Read - World Heart Day 2020: Heart Disease Has Marginally Increased by 10 to 20% Compared to Pre-COVID

San Leandro, Calif. — Operation ASHA and biogas startup PAK Energy Solution were named Tech Laureates Sept. 16, and will be honored at the Tech Awards in San Jose, Calif., Nov. 13. Also Read - Heart Disease in Teenagers Linked to Diabetes Exposure in Womb, Reveals Study

India’s Operation ASHA and Pakistan’s PAK Energy Solution were among 10 international innovators to make it to the final list of laureates out of an original group of 25 projects and companies announced last month (I-W, Aug. 29). As laureates, they are now eligible for a portion of $500,000 in cash prizes, which will be announced at the gala. One laureate in each of five categories will win $75,000, and the other will win $25,000. Also Read - COVID-19: Blood Test to Predict High-Risk COVID Patients, Say Researchers

The Operation ASHA eCompliance Project monitors and tracks antibiotic delivery to tuberculosis patients in India, and ensures that each patient receives the correct dosage.

“This is a necessity because of the tedious and difficult regimen prescribed under the [directly observed] therapy in which a TB patient must take up to 75 doses under observation,” explains a spokesperson. “This is the therapy prescribed by WHO and followed across the world.”

Tuberculosis patients

Operation ASHA uses its “eCompliance biometric tracking system” to monitor the complicated and time-consuming delivery of antibiotics to tuberculosis patients in India, dose by dose.

eCompliance has been rolled out for nearly 9,000 TB patients so far in India, Cambodia, Uganda, Dominican Republic and Kenya, and has already recorded over 400,000 transactions.

Its founders Shelly Batra and Sandeep Ahuja have won the Nokia Health Award along with Gradian Health Systems, which provides anesthesia to the developing world.

PAK Energy Solution of Lahore, Pakistan, uses biogas derived from animal manure, kitchen waste, agricultural residue and industrial waste to provide fuel for cooking, heating, lighting and electricity generation across Pakistan. It is one of two winners of the Katherine M. Swanson Young Innovator Award along with Nanoly, a company that has created a chemical designed to keep vaccines cool in underserved areas.

All 10 laureates will travel to Silicon Valley on an expense-paid tour of the region, where they will received specialized business and media training and network with leading tech companies.

Indian American innovator Salman Khan of Khan Academy, a 2009 Tech Awards winner, will receive the Laureate Impact Award at the event, while media mogul Ted Turner will receive the James C. Morgan Global Humanitarian Award.

Simran Sethi, a top journalist, PBS program host and environmental educator, will serve as the host of this year’s black tie gala.

This story originally appeared in India West.