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IMPORTANT SCIENCE NEWS ARTICLE: 'When Ebola Protection Fails' by Jon Cohen (Science, 3 October, 2104; pgs. 17-18) - Article has many important insights relevant to this Fighting Ebola Grand Challenge and highlights the fact that the exact causes/sources of healthcare worker infections (in W. Africa treatment centers are merely suspected, but remain unknown. Here is the link:

NOTE: The unknowns noted in the article (concerning ebola infection by healthcare workers) only serves to emphasize the importance of have some exact means of contact tracing within a treatment center (for both workers and patients).


I have received a late (Dec. 1, 2014) contact follow up from the MIT HDG (developers of the original SM badge technology). In the email, I was informed that the developers has created a commercial entity (Sociometric Solutions) to market/supply these (proprietary) badges (for both commercial and academic use) and was quoted a price per unit (per badge) much higher than my cost estimate (which was based upon manufacturing at scale of off-the-shelf technology; RFID tech + additional electronic components [microchip] modification design costs, plastic "housing", etc.) by a factor of ten or more (!).

Thus, although they offer a small discount for "academic research", the cost of using this tech -- baring complete redesign of the badges -- is considerably higher than previously thought.

The essential idea here is still valid and viable for the proposed use (contact tracing, etc.) but any implementation of this ready to use SM technology (proprietary) would require considerable funding resources (e.g., major foundation grant) to provide the minimum amount of SM badges needed for any trial run of the technology (which would be based upon the size [staff and patient capacity] of a participating treatment center).

A NEW UPDATED Budget (11-26-14) has been uploaded in both DOCX and PDF formats. These replace the previously updated documents.