smart technology

Watch: How a revolutionary new bangle from Bangladesh protects pregnant women

Sensors on the bangle protects women from dangerous situations, and send regular prenatal care reminders.


A smart new bangle from Bangladesh adds a whole different meaning to the idea of wearable jewellery.

COEL, short for Carbon Monoxide Exposure Limiter, looks just like another piece of trendy jewellery. Except that it;’s been developed for maternal wellness and prenatal care by Grameen Intel Social Business Limited (GISB), a collaboration between Intel Corporation and Grameen Trust.

According to the World Health Organisation, approximately 830 women die every day from preventable causes related to pregnancy and childbirth. In 2015, the number of deaths was roughly 3,03,000. And think about this: approximately 4 million women and children’s deaths are attributed annually to indoor gas exposure. This number could be significantly reduced by ensuring easier access to proper health information and preventing exposure to harmful gases.

COEL does exactly that.

It could prove to be particularly useful to women in rural areas who have little or no access to healthcare facilities and lack sufficient knowledge to protect themselves and their child. COEL is made of highly durable plastic with a special state-of-the-art sensor that can detect the level of carbon monoxide in the air, from burning wood, charcoal or animal dung, while also being water and dust resistant.

If the bangle detects harmful levels of carbon monoxide near a pregnant woman, the device beeps and flashes red, and a recorded voice recommends opening windows and doors or moving to a safe area. It requires no internet connectivity and is equipped with a battery that lasts 10 months – covering the entire duration of the pregnancy.

This revolutionary device is also programmed to utter about 80 pregnancy-related wellness messages, around two per week. The messages are designed to provide imperative information on following a proper diet, vaccinations, cramps, convulsions, when to see a doctor and preparation for the delivery, and can be customised according the wearer’s pregnancy dates. The messages have been translated by GISB into Bangla for local women; the company plans to customise the device to speak more languages before launching the product in other countries.

This smart gadget has already been put on initial trials in India, while nearly 5,000 bangles were distributed to women in rural Bangladesh. The feedback was positive – the bangle was even compared to “a trusted friend”.

One of the focal points of the project, according to Pavel Hoq, chief operation officer of GISB, was to ensure affordability. Each bangle will cost about Tk 1,000-1,200 (approximately Rs 800). GISB wrote on its Facebook page that a commercial launch is expected in a couple of months.

We welcome your comments at
Sponsored Content BY 

Virat Kohli and Ola come together to improve Delhi's air quality

The onus of curbing air-pollution is on citizens as well

A recent study by The Lancet Journal revealed that outdoor pollution was responsible for 6% of the total disease burden in India in 2016. As a thick smog hangs low over Delhi, leaving its residents gasping for air, the pressure is on the government to implement SOS measures to curb the issue as well as introduce long-term measures to improve the air quality of the state. Other major cities like Mumbai, Pune and Kolkata should also acknowledge the gravitas of the situation.

The urgency of the air-pollution crisis in the country’s capital is being reflected on social media as well. A recent tweet by Virat Kohli, Captain of the Indian Cricket Team, urged his fans to do their bit in helping the city fight pollution. Along with the tweet, Kohli shared a video in which he emphasized that curbing pollution is everyone’s responsibility. Apart from advocating collective effort, Virat Kohli’s tweet also urged people to use buses, metros and Ola share to help reduce the number of vehicles on the road.

In the spirit of sharing the responsibility, ride sharing app Ola responded with the following tweet.

To demonstrate its commitment to fight the problem of vehicular pollution and congestion, Ola is launching #ShareWednesdays : For every ​new user who switches to #OlaShare in Delhi, their ride will be free. The offer by Ola that encourages people to share resources serves as an example of mobility solutions that can reduce the damage done by vehicular pollution. This is the fourth leg of Ola’s year-long campaign, #FarakPadtaHai, to raise awareness for congestion and pollution issues and encourage the uptake of shared mobility.

In 2016, WHO disclosed 10 Indian cities that made it on the list of worlds’ most polluted. The situation necessitates us to draw from experiences and best practices around the world to keep a check on air-pollution. For instance, a system of congestion fees which drivers have to pay when entering central urban areas was introduced in Singapore, Oslo and London and has been effective in reducing vehicular-pollution. The concept of “high occupancy vehicle” or car-pool lane, implemented extensively across the US, functions on the principle of moving more people in fewer cars, thereby reducing congestion. The use of public transport to reduce air-pollution is another widely accepted solution resulting in fewer vehicles on the road. Many communities across the world are embracing a culture of sustainable transportation by investing in bike lanes and maintenance of public transport. Even large corporations are doing their bit to reduce vehicular pollution. For instance, as a participant of the Voluntary Traffic Demand Management project in Beijing, Lenovo encourages its employees to adopt green commuting like biking, carpooling or even working from home. 18 companies in Sao Paulo executed a pilot program aimed at reducing congestion by helping people explore options such as staggering their hours, telecommuting or carpooling. After the pilot, drive-alone rates dropped from 45-51% to 27-35%.

It’s the government’s responsibility to ensure that the growth of a country doesn’t compromise the natural environment that sustains it, however, a substantial amount of responsibility also lies on each citizen to lead an environment-friendly lifestyle. Simple lifestyle changes such as being cautious about usage of electricity, using public transport, or choosing locally sourced food can help reduce your carbon footprint, the collective impact of which is great for the environment.

Ola is committed to reducing the impact of vehicular pollution on the environment by enabling and encouraging shared rides and greener mobility. They have also created flat fare zones across Delhi-NCR on Ola Share to make more environment friendly shared rides also more pocket-friendly. To ensure a larger impact, the company also took up initiatives with City Traffic Police departments, colleges, corporate parks and metro rail stations.

Join the fight against air-pollution by using the hashtag #FarakPadtaHai and download Ola to share your next ride.

This article was produced by the Scroll marketing team on behalf of Ola and not by the Scroll editorial team.