Innovations in International Health

Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 2006 - $35,700

This team focuses on developing partnership to help move ideas from MIT labs to the developing world. The project begins with D-Lab, a collection of classes and field trips at MIT that focus on having students to create sustainable solutions to the problems of poverty and environmental degradation in developing countries. Although some of the products that have come out of D-Lab have gone on to wider distribution, most haven't moved beyond the pilot phase, primarily due to students choosing not to pursue the projects further. To solve the problem, MIT faculty have partnered with a Pakistani NGO to create the Innovations in International Health (IIH) program, which aims to give students access to the support and resources necessary to bring their products to market. IIH will consist of a tightly knit network of organizations doing work in the developing world, including research entities, NGOs, government agencies, and community partners. The goal is for the network to provide students with engineering ideas to pursue and the means to bring the resulting inventions to market.

Summer 2009 update: IIH has created a network of global health professionals to provide students with opportunities for continued development of global health technology projects. IIH has enabled the development of 21 medical technology products, such as Aerovax, XoutTB, the Spirulina Bioreacator, PortaTherm and uBox. PortaTherm is currently in the field-testing stage of development and two clinical trials of XoutTB have been conducted. Both uBox and Aerovax have applied for patents. In total 16 projects have been launched by IIH, and three centers of excellence in appropriate medical technologies have been established, while the IIH footprint has expanded to more than 7 countries. This team also created a non-profit organization called Innovators in Health and has secured additional funding from sources such as the Lord Foundation, IADB and an NIH enabled grant.

January 2012 update: NPR article on IIH.

April 2012 update: IIH was featured on CNN.