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Meet the Global Problem Solver: OmniVis

OmniVis, along with its partners, is on a mission to end 90% of cholera by 2030.

The problem: Cholera

Every year, anywhere from 21,000 to 143,000 people die from cholera, which impacts more than 2 million lives around the world. Cholera is endemic in nearly 70 countries, most common in Africa, Southeast Asia, and South America. It’s a bacteria that exists in water, and can lead to severe illness or even death if consumed and left untreated.

Most people affected by cholera don’t have access to safely managed water supplies or sanitation facilities, making it difficult for them to test their water and identify cholera.

We're really lucky because in most of the United States, we don't have to worry about this bacteria in our water. We get clean water every single day, but in 47 countries around the world, that's not the case. People in places like Haiti and the Dominican Republic, have to worry everyday about the water they're drinking.

Katherine Clayton, Co-Founder and CEO, OmniVis

The solution: OmniVis

OmniVis is developing a handheld device that works with smartphones to detect cholera in water samples. With the help Internet of Everything (IoT) technology, it can analyze and identify the bacteria within 30 minutes of collection.

Once OmniVis hits the market, it's cholera prevention kit will include the following items:

  • Detection software to analyze, detect, and geotag water samples before notifying authorities of contamination
  • Smartphone devices running Android software for scalability
  • Test strips with proprietary technology to store reagents for extended periods of time in the field
  • Hardware unit with a built-in heating element and microscope, putting the power of a lab in users' hands

That’s a tremendous breakthrough, as testing can take more than five days in affected communities. The reduction in identification timing can be the difference between life and death.

OmniVis was a second runner-up in the 2017 Cisco Global Problem Solver Challenge, which recognizes entrepreneurs who are using technology to address a social or environmental problem.


Your turn

See how Cisco is supporting other young social entrepreneurs like Katherine through the annual Cisco Global Problem Solver Challenge.