Extend the reach of healthcare through mobility. Create solutions to help provide uncompromised healthcare in rural areas in Tamil Nadu.

“According to a report by the United Nations, 75% of the health infrastructure in India  – including doctors and specialists and other health resources – is concentrated in urban areas where only 27% of India’s population lives. The rural population of India is around 716 million people (72%) and yet there is a chronic lack of proper medical facilities for them.” (futurechallenges.org, 2013)

As in many parts of the world, in Tamil Nadu, India, there is a divide between cities and rural areas when it comes to available healthcare services.  With the ubiquitous use of mobile phones and increased vehicular access in rural India, there is now an opportunity to enhance mobile health services in rural regions and contribute to the advancement of healthcare services across the globe. 

mHealth (or mobile health) applications have the potential to change when, where, and how healthcare and health information are provided. Using mobile phones and connected vehicles, it is now possible to combine important social, behavioral, and environmental data to improve health outcomes. (Adapted from National Institutes of Health)

You can make a difference.

Ford is asking you to help those living in the rural regions of Tamil Nadu, India by extending the reach of health care services to them. 

To get started, take a look at the challenge requirements below and visit the Resources page for links to relevant data, open source projects, and more. Don’t forget to click the “Register” button to make sure you receive all important challenge updates.

What is SUMURR?

Sustainable Urban Mobility with Uncompromised Rural Reach (more commonly known as SUMURR) is a Ford framework that focuses on positively impacting communities in developing nations. Using Ford vehicles and increasingly connected technologies, the SUMURR program seeks to address critical social needs, such as health care, in rural areas across the globe.

“SUMURR exemplifies how Ford is using its global reach to address regional issues and causes around the world, and at the same time identifying local social and technology entrepreneurs that we can partner with to further develop the kind of solutions that will shape our future.” (K. Venkatesh Prasad, “Case Study: Saving Lives in Rural India”)

View full rules


This challenge is open to:

  • Individuals (who have reached the age of majority in their jurisdiction of residence at the time of entry); Teams of eligible individuals; Organizations (up to 50 employees) 
  • Organizations with over 50 employees may compete for the non-cash Large Organization Recognition Award.



Content: Submitted solutions must focus on helping extend health services to rural regions, such as those in Tamil Nadu, India.

Solutions must include a software component such as: 

  • an SMS or text message delivery to feature phones
  • a native smartphone or tablet app (iOS, Android, Blackberry, Kindle, Windows Mobile)
  • a web app (mobile or desktop)
  • a desktop app (Windows PC, Mac Desktop)
  • software running on other hardware (including, but not exclusive to, wearable technology, open source hardware, etc.)
  • custom hardware which includes a software component (wearable technology, etc.)

Language: All submission materials must be in English or, if not in English, you must provide an English translation of the demo video, text description, and testing instructions as well as all other written materials submitted. 

Supplemental Material: You must submit a demo video (hosted on YouTube, Vimeo, or Youku) that walks through the main functionality of the solution via screencast or video. You must also submit at least one image/screenshot of your working solution.

New & Existing Solutions: Solutions may be newly created or pre-existing. If you are submitting an existing solution (developed prior to this competition), you must include new features/functionality added after the submission period began. The new features/functionality must specifically aim to help extend health services to remote regions such as those in Tamil Nadu, India. If you are entering an existing solution, you will be required to explain the new features in the submission form.

How to enter

  1. Read the Official Rules to confirm you meet all eligibility requirements.
  2. “Register” to access the submission form and start your draft.
  3. Create a working solution that meets the requirements above, a demonstration video, and some images to represent your solution.
  4. Provide a way for us to access your solution. 
  5. Submit before the deadline!


Ashok Jhunjhunwala

Ashok Jhunjhunwala
IIT Madras, India

Eric Wingfield

Eric Wingfield
Mobility Strategist, Ford

John Forrer

John Forrer
Associate Director, Institute for Corporate Responsibility

Priya Sundaram

Priya Sundaram
Vice President, IT Operations, Ford GBS, India

K. Venkatesh Prasad

K. Venkatesh Prasad
Senior Technical Leader, Open Innovation - Ford Motor Company

Bright Simons

Bright Simons
President of the mPedigree Network

Ashwin Kumar Rao

Ashwin Kumar Rao
Senior Chief Operating Officer, Health & Child labour Elimination Program, Hand in Hand India

P.V.M. Rao

P.V.M. Rao
Professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering at IIT Delhi, New Delhi; IIT Delhi Innovation Center

Judging Criteria

  • Quality of the Idea
    Includes creativity and originality of the idea.
  • Implementation of the Idea
    Includes how well the idea was executed by the developer.
  • Potential Impact
    Includes the solution’s potential to extend the reach of health services to rural residents and empower health care providers in rural Tamil Nadu, India.