Wireless is at the heart of modern life, and 5G — the fifth generation of wireless — has the potential to transform how people connect and inspire change in their communities. Social entrepreneurs are recognizing the opportunity to influence the greater good through these new 5G networks, tapping into mobile technologies to help address some of the country’s biggest challenges.
Consider mRelief, which uses text messages, voice and web to create access to nutritious food for American families through the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP).
SNAP provides around 40 million people with access to nutritious food each year. During the pandemic, that number increased dramatically — some states received between 100-400% more SNAP applications than usual. mRelief is helping streamline applications, saving people time and, most importantly, supporting access to wholesome food for those who need it most.
Additional examples include Bloomlife and OkaySo. Bloomlife is a wearable patch and companion app for prenatal health, tracking mental and fetal health parameters. It provides telehealth services to increase access to care and provide remote, personalized feedback to improve maternal and prenatal health outcomes. OkaySo is an app connecting young people, especially those in the LGBTQ community, to trained mental health experts for personalized support related to stress, relationships, identity and more. Through the mobile app, OkaySo provides personalized responses from experts directly to teens’ phones.
mRelief, Bloomlife and OkaySo are 2021 winners of the CTIA Wireless Foundation Catalyst grant awards, which provides funding to support technology initiatives that are influencing positive change.
These are just three examples of people using the vast potential of wireless for the power of good. Now with the availability of 5G, even more social entrepreneurs are putting their dreams for a better world into motion.
The launch of 5G wireless offers an opportunity to make meaningful advances and tap into a powerful infrastructure for social good.
“In order to fully recognize how the 5G decade will change the world, we need agile, innovative and daring visionaries who can put 5G to work to improve our society,” said Dori Kreiger, CTIA Wireless Foundation Executive Director.
In its third year, Catalyst is focused on solutions that take advantage of 5G and leading edge wireless technologies to deepen human connection and solve pressing challenges. From virtual reality to machine learning and IoT applications, 5G has the potential to fuel new innovations that could change lives.
“The emergence of 5G will transform the next decade of social innovation, making our communities stronger and our nation more prosperous. 5G can help tackle issues from education and health care to climate change and social justice to revolutionize the way we communicate and power groundbreaking advancements,” said Kreiger.
Catalyst will award over $200,000 in unrestricted grant awards to finalists. To learn more visit WirelessFoundation.org/Catalyst.
(BPT) (LRS) (Willamette Valley Magazine)