Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 2006 - $42,650
The Development Entrepreneurship (DE) program at MIT, established in 2005 with the idea of having teams of students develop technological solutions for poverty alleviation in the developing world, has five successful projects under its belt and has expanded the program into Africa. Now the DE team will expand its work into Central and South America through a collaboration with the Sumaq Alliance, a group of eight business schools in Spanish and Portuguese-speaking markets.
Summer 2009 update: As of October 2007 the team established a program at INCAE, a collaboration, which leveraged Costa Rican government interest to fund an innovations/entrepreneurship class shared by 2 institutions.
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.
Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 2007 - $19,930
Though many of the world's worst diseases can be treated with drugs, the problem of adherence--patients correctly following the timing and dosage of long, complex prescriptions--remains a major challenge in public health, especially in the developing world. To combat the problem, this E-Team has created uBox, a cheap, rugged, "smart" pillbox designed for rural communities in the developing world.
UBox is a palm-sized plastic container with sixteen compartments. The user rotates the top handle clockwise to expose a new compartment, and pulls down a small lid at the base of the device to retrieve medication. A simple electronic timer records each time the lid is lowered to remove pills, creating a log of when the patient takes the medication. Further, healthcare workers who are assigned to ensure patients take their pills are given a USB-like modified audio plug and insert it into a port on top of the uBox when visiting a patient. The uBox records the time and date of this action, allowing for healthcare worker tracking as well.
The team has formed Innovators In Health, Inc., a 501c3 working actively in eradicating TB. IIH runs two successful programs in India. In Delhi its biometric technology developed with Microsoft Research and Operation ASHA is now in a 600-700 patient trial. In Bihar, it works with India's national TB program and the Government of Bihar to improve access to TB for 50,000 rural residents in 19 villages.
Second product: Innovators In Health has started development of a biometrics platform called uPrint, which is now in a 700 patient trial in Delhi. The business model is that government agencies pay IIH for use of IIH technology.