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Plug & Play Mobile Phone Sensors

SquareUp ( http://www.squareup.com ), co-founded by Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey, is a small credit card reader that can be plugged into a cell phone's audio/mic jack, enabling anyone with a phone to accept credit card payments (SquareUp charges a small transaction processing fee). The reader is powered by the jack, collected data is sent back to the phone as an audio signal, and then sent to a central processor through the cell (or internet) network. The plug-in sensor is low cost enough that it is sent to interested users for free. Although the required software is currently only available for Androids, IPhones, & IPads, theoretically this could work with most phones.

Photo of Vincent Cheng
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Imagine if there were low cost plug-in sensors that were used by mobile health workers, community groups, or possibly even directly by expectant mothers to collect, than automatically transmit, vital health data to be monitored by a remote doctor, increasing access to and efficiency of quality maternal care.

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