Innovation comes in many forms, from brilliant technology breakthroughs in Silicon Valley to less flashy advances like a simpler way to deliver essential products. In many cases, even a low-tech innovation can improve health care in a life-changing way. All you need is a new perspective on an old problem.
Mark Dybul, executive director, The Global Fund
A new partnership between
The real world results are significant. In Tanzania, for example, forecasting accuracy has improved leading to fewer stock outages of medicine and medical supplies. In Ghana,
However, Project Last Mile is only one example of the Global Fund’s approach to innovation. We now try to build innovative thinking into our everyday work streams, to make it the norm, rather than the exception. Brilliant minds work across the Global Fund partnership – ranging from health access activists to doctors and nurses, financial managers and scientists. Through our new innovation hub, we strive to gather the threads of innovative ideas and weave them into tangible advances that can save more lives.
In Kenya, the Global Fund has worked with PharmAccess Foundation and Safaricom to create a mobile health wallet. This allows someone visiting a clinic for a malaria test, for example, to pay for it from their cell phone using a mobile money provider such as M-Pesa. The clinic then uses special software to collect information such as age, gender, type of test and the result. The collated data can then provide powerful demographic insights that can inform policy making.
Perhaps the most exciting innovation for the Global Fund is our e-marketplace. This web platform will allow for the exchange of medicines and other medical goods, providing affordable, accessible high quality goods to the Global Fund’s implementing partners and driving substantial savings. We estimate that this could add US$100 per year in additional savings by 2020. Through greater access and transparency we hope to see a better market for public health – a benefit to everyone.
We are especially conscious of the exceptional efficiency gains innovation promises. When you are investing the world’s money to fight diseases, you must constantly strive to make each dollar, pound, euro or yen go as far as possible. Innovation has to be more than a buzz word and mean more than added consumer convenience. We need to mobilize the nerdy geniuses to end the epidemics.
Mark Dybul is executive director of The Global Fund
Defeating #AIDS, TB & #malaria can be among our generation’s greatest achievements. We can’t stop now! #ENDITFORGOOD http://bit.ly/ENDIT