Those of us living in metropolitan areas don't think twice about our ease of access to medical care, but those in rural areas don't enjoy such easy access to a doctor. Abhijeet Kalyan and Shravan Narayan from McGill University in Canada are aware of this problem, and came up with a way for doctors to diagnose and treat patients from afar. Called Project Neem, it's got a hub and spoke organizational structure that puts a healthcare worker in every village and leverages the power of Windows Phone to connect them with medical staff in distant cities.
Participating healthcare workers are given basic medical training and a handheld loaded up with a custom app that identifies patients by scanning their national ID card and stores their pertinent medical info -- from temperature and blood pressure readings to a variety of symptoms. The app has a virtual human body on board that lets users tap parts of the anatomy to bring up a series of symptoms that can be selected to provide treating physicians with the info they need. That information is stored in the cloud and accessed by doctors through a Windows 8 app, who then can relay appropriate treatments to the local healthcare worker. Now all we need is someone to make a real-world tricorder, and we'll truly be able to bring medical care to the masses, wherever they may be.