Massachusetts Institute of Technology

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Competition Year: 2011

A solar-powered refrigerator for Multi-Drug Resistant Tuberculosis, with the ability to monitor device performance and patient adherence. Our partner is the Global Health Community (GHC) in Ethiopia.

Health and Medical Mobile Devices and Communications

  • Team Members
  • S. Boyer
  • A. Young
  • J. Gomez-MArquez
  • A. Caldwell

Quick Links

Our Pitch

We will use wireless communication with cooling technology to improve care of MDR-TB worldwide through a novel device - CoolComply. With the increase in chronic diseases, such as tuberculosis and HIV/AIDS, the need of effective home-based care is becoming a necessity in regions with limited provider capacity. The Global Health Committee (GHC) is a non-profit organization with extensive experience fighting tuberculosis (TB) and Multi-Drug Resistant tuberculosis (MDR-TB) through community based interventions in Cambodia and Ethiopia; GHC identified the need for an alternative for storing MDR-TB medications for home-based care. Measuring patient adherence both for the cold chain and the patient is vital for curbing epidemics as well as ensuring programs comply with standards


Provide reliable homecare for MDR-TB patients while promoting adherence and drug efficacy

Who We Are


Stephan Boyer is a sophomore in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at MIT. He will be implementing all of the electronics for CoolComply, which includes designing the telemetry and datalogging circuits and programming the microcontrollers. Stephan has been working as a UROP student since October 2010, designing and implementing hardware solutions to IIH's health care-related needs. Stephan has over half a decade of experience developing software and hardware both professionally and as a hobby, and his knowledge of electrical systems makes him a great match for the CoolComply project.

Anna Young is the R&D Officer for International Laboratories of Innovations in International Health at MIT. Anna’s cold-chain research for vaccines and expertise in TB adherence monitoring provides an ideal match for the project. She will be responsible for the product design of the device. She has had extensive experience in developing strategies to move technologies from need identification, to R&D, to field testing and user feedback and then implementation. Anna has managed the MEDIKit project and her solar autoclave research was recently recognized by the WHO as one of the top six innovative technologies in health. Anna is co-founder of Salud del Sol, a social enterprise focused on solar technologies for health operating in Nicaragua. Anna will translate the solar research she has already conducted to CoolComply.

Aya Caldwell is the Program Manager at CIMIT’s Global Health Initiative (GHI). Aya will be responsible for ensuring that the device is consistent with MDR-TB patient and public health needs. At CIMIT GHI, Aya has been responsible for implementing evaluations, coordinating programs, and conducting research on key projects in the portfolio such as the “Car-Part” incubator, neonatal resuscitation device and outcome evaluation, and CoolComply. She has been involved in CoolComply since its inception and worked in Ethiopia to gather baseline information from MDR-TB patients and providers. Prior to joining CIMIT, Ms. Caldwell worked in finance as a research analyst.


Jose Gomez-Marquez is the program director for the Innovations in International Health initiative at MIT. Among the projects under his technology practice at IIH is the Aerovax Drug Delivery System, a device for mass delivery of inhalable drugs and vaccines to remote populations. The rest of his IIH invention portfolio includes SafePilot, a next generation cane for the blind, and most recently, the X out TB program, which aims to increase TB therapy adherence in developing countries using novel diagnostics and mobile technology. Recently, the group has developed the MEDIKit, a series of design building blocks that empower doctors and nurses in developing countries to invent their medical technologies. These technologies have been featured in Forbes, Wired, the Booz Allen Hamilton Technology Petting Zoo, and the Dow Jones Emerging Ventures Conference on Tomorrow's Innovation.

Jose serves on the European Union’s Science Against Poverty Taskforce and has participated as an expert advisor in the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology. He is director of MIT's D-Lab: Health, a course on designing global health technologies at MIT. After working in institutional investments and international development, Jose went back as a mid-career student to the Worcester Polytechnic Institute where he focuses on policy research studies covering international technology transfer and small team innovation. Jose is a 3 time MIT IDEAS Competition winner, including two Lemelson Awards for International Technology. He arrived to the United States from his native Honduras on a Rotary scholarship and currently lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

Dr. Kristian Olson is on staff at the Massachusetts General Hospital as an Inpatient Clinical Educator in the Department of Medicine. He trained in the Harvard Combined Program in Internal Medicine and Pediatrics and is a faculty member of Harvard Medical School. He is on the MGH Executive Committee for Global Health and is a Faculty member of the Harvard Humanitarian Initiative. In October 2006, he assumed the role as Program Leader of CIMIT's Global Health Initiative directed at developing effective catalyst health technologies for low-income countries. He attended medical school at Vanderbilt University as a Justin Potter Scholar and, in 1996, was a US Fulbright Scholar to Australia where he completed a Masters of Public Health Degree in Epidemiology and International Health. In 2003, Dr. Olson was the first Thomas S. Durant Fellow in Refugee Medicine during which he obtained a Diploma in Tropical Medicine and Hygiene in London before spending most of 2003 working in refugee camps along the Thai-Burmese Border. In 2005, he worked with the American Refugee Committee in Darfur. Since 2005 he has worked as a consultant with the International Organization of Migration (IOM) in Tsunami-affected regions of Sumatra. He has also worked on health projects in Cambodia, Kenya, and Ethiopia. He was named as one of the Scientific American Top 10 Honor Roll in June 2009 which recognizes individuals who have demonstrated leadership in applying new technologies and biomedical discoveries for the benefit of humanity.

Our Community Partner

Partner Name

Global Health Committee




The GHC is an operational expansion of the Cambodian Health Committee (CHC), a local non-governmental organization (NGO) working in Cambodia since 1994 to improve the health and well-being of its people. As the GHC, the global lessons learned at the grassroots level in Cambodia are being transferred to and shared with colleagues in the region and around the world. Our efforts focus on those suffering from tuberculosis (TB) and AIDS, who are among the poorest in our global society, who are displaced by war or who live in post-conflict nations. We work in both rural and urban settings, assisting local people regardless of race, sex, age, religion, or political affiliation. We are attacking TB, AIDS and the root causes of these diseases in adults and children in Asia and Africa and we are giving people the knowledge and access to medicines to allow them to lead healthy lives. In addition, our research programs in Cambodia and at the Harvard Medical School and Immune Disease Institute in Boston, Massachusetts are revealing fundamental insights into biology of both diseases and how to treat them. With our strategy of delivery of care, discovery of new knowledge, and advocacy, we are curing TB and treating AIDS one person at a time.


  • Service Location
    Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
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Comments and Support

  • You mentioned that it was solar powered but didn't describe the cooling component...What type of cooling system is your team using for the fridge?

    Posted by Jen on Wed, May 11th 2011, 20:22 Report Abuse

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