30 Innovations for Global Health

23.07.2015 – Arztbesuch_Philipp_Flury_PixelioPersonalized health technologies activate users, measure steps and sleep, support better medication adherence, guide healthy food choices, and quantify biological measures that are predictive of chronic diseases”, says Derek Yach, Senior Vice President (SVP) of the Vitality Group. He points out the demands of Global Health in IC2030 report.

A Technology Catalysts Map developed by the Vitality Institute and the Institute for the Future outlines emerging innovations and their potential for impact on chronic diseases and related risks.

Connected science:
Stakeholders contribute data and connections to the art and science of health promotion and chronic disease prevention:

Rise of networks:
Bottom-up solutions address health promotion and disease prevention.

Quantified generations:
Data-driven self-knowledge ignites intergenerational health engagement and promotion.

New business models:
Business and social interests align for upstream interventions.

Entrepreneurial ecosystems:
Lean iteration creates vital human and economic systems.

Between 2015 and 2030, the costs of computation, storage, and bandwidth will drop by roughly a factor of 1,000, with enormous implications for economic development, poverty, and global health”, says computer scientist Ramez Naam in the IC2030 report.

His hope is that widespread mobile Internet access will accelerate economic development and thus increase access to clean water, sufficient food, and other underpinnings of global health. Naam: “There will also be challenges as billions come online. How do we direct people to accurate information instead of myths or rumors?” The exponential price decline of digital technology will put more power and information in the hands of the poorest people than ever before, catalyzing a surge of global economic development and health innovation.

The Global Health Investment Fund (GHIF) including Governments (Grand Challenges Canada, the International Finance Corporation, and KfW Development Bank), foundations (Children’s Investment Fund Foundation), and corporations (AXA, GlaxoSmithKline, JP Morgan, Merck, Pfizer, and Storebrand) has built a pipeline of opportunities and is now in the process of completing its investment program.

Transactions to date include:

  • A new TB diagnostic test that can operate
    outside a laboratory.
  • A cholera vaccine that is lower cost and
    has the potential to be heat-stable to
    protect adults and children alike from
    this Victorian-era disease.
  • The registration of a drug for the
    treatment of onchocerciasis (river
    blindness), a disease spread by flies,
    particularly in West Africa

The Innovation Countdown 2030 (IC2030) is a list of 30 innovations that can potentially save millions of lives around the globe. Innovations for maternal, newborn, and child health as well as Innovations for combating infectious diseases are focussed in the report. Innovations for reproductive health an those addressing noncommunicable diseases can be found in IC2030.

Link: Innovation Countdown 2030 is reimagining what’s possible in global health (PDF)

Picture: Philipp Flury /

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