Competition for Solutions finds new ideas to contain Ebola through crowdsourcing

As frontline workers continue the struggle against Ebola, we bring you the story of Non-experts - smart people tapped to brainstorm fast solutions to problems facing medical team. Our project By Designchronicles the clever way they found what appear to be real solutions to tough problems, in record time....
As frontline workers continue the struggle against Ebola, we bring you the story of Non-experts - smart people tapped to brainstorm fast solutions to problems facing medical team. Our project By Designchronicles the clever way they found what appear to be real solutions to tough problems, in record time.

This redesigned suit is one of the winners of a competition through Columbia University to find solutions for helping stop the Ebola outbreak.

This redesigned suit is one of the winners of a competition through Columbia University to find solutions for helping stop the Ebola outbreak.

The Ebola virus slipped into Mali last week, making it the sixth country in Africa to feel the scourge of virus. About 15,000 people have become infected since the outbreak began ; nearly 5,000 have died. Efforts to contain it may be heroic, but they're not entirely effective.

As part of our project By Design, we look at an effort to come up with new ideas to treat and contain Ebola -- by crowdsourcing.

Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health teamed up with the School of Engineering and Applied Science to find ways to help. They decided to hold a competition for solutions, and the pitches flooded in.

Professor Jeffrey Kysar is the Chair of the Mechanical Engineering Department at Columbia University. He was one of the jurors of the competition to get new ideas for tackling the Ebola outbreak.

Dwayne Spradlin says these kinds of design competitions are increasingly necessary to find the breakthrough ideas. He is the author of Open Innovation Marketplace and a veteran of crowdsourcing solutions to problems from all disciplines. Currently Dwayne Spradlin is the CEO of Health Data Consortium.

This segment was produced by The Current's Sujata Berry.

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