Yaw Anokawa: Improving Health Care in Sub-Saharan Africa


  • Doctoral student in Computer Science, University of Washington, 2011 UW Graduate School Medal winner
  • Master’s degree in Computer Science, UW
  • Joint bachelor’s degree in Computer Science and Electrical Engineering, Butler University and Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis

Career Path

  • Google
  • Partners in Health
  • Intel Research
  • Raytheon

Improving Health Care

Yaw has become the public face for a free, open-source set of software tools—called Open Data Kit (ODK)—that he co-created with a team including other UW doctoral students and faculty and Google employees. The tools allow people on the ground to capture and deliver information through mobile gadgets of any kind, replacing the need for separate paper forms, cameras and GPS units. ODK has made a big impact on managing health care in low-resource areas. An organization called AMPATH, which treats more than 120,000 HIV-positive patients across Kenya, sends health workers with ODK-equipped phones from house to house to provide counseling and testing. AMPATH has reached some 70,000 individuals and has been able to rapidly and cost-effectively identify individuals at significant risk from HIV, saving lives.