Global Good’s work is guided in part by the global health and development expertise of partner organizations like the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Based on their expert knowledge, Global Good focuses its work around thematic areas where invention can have the greatest possible impact on life in developing countries. This thematic approach also allows IV’s team of inventors, scientists, and engineers to explore pressing health and development problems from multiple angles rather than be confined to a particular method or technology. Although these themes evolve and change over time, they include the following examples:
Epidemiological modeling of infectious diseases can help determine the combination of health policies and intervention strategies needed to make decisions toward their eradication and control. Mathematical models can help examine current uncertainties and knowledge gaps around disease transmission and burden, and results can better inform health policies. Global Good’s Institute for Disease Modeling (IDM) develops detailed, geographically specific, stochastic models of disease transmissions. Their current work focuses on polio, malaria, HIV, and tuberculosis.
More information on IDM is available on the Intellectual Ventures Lab website.
More than 23 million children do not receive routine immunizations annually and more than 1.5 million children under age five die each year from vaccine-preventable diseases This is partially due to limitations in the temperature-controlled supply chain that’s needed to prevent vaccines from spoiling between their point of manufacture and their use. With a particular focus on areas in the developing world that lack reliable grid electricity, Global Good is working to increase vaccine coverage by inventing technology that overcomes traditional infrastructure and logistics barriers.
More information about Global Good's vaccine storage device is available on the Inventions & Patents section of our website.
Vector control, which limits contact between humans and disease-carrying insects and arachnids, is essential in the effort to eradicate diseases such as malaria and dengue. For malaria alone, which is transmitted by mosquitoes, there are nearly 1.4 billion people at high risk of infection across endemic regions of the world. Traditional malaria vector control methods such as indoor sprays (11% at-risk household coverage in 2012) and insecticide-treated bed nets (53% at-risk house coverage in 2012) have only been partially effective and require increasing levels of continuous investment. To address this, Global Good is working on inventive ways to understand, target, and reduce human contact with mosquitoes and other disease-carrying vectors.
Global Good and our partners at IV Lab are exploring a range of vector control methods, including our widely publicized photonic fence invention.
Despite available treatments, millions die each year from infectious diseases like malaria and tuberculosis. This is due in part because many lack access to affordable, accurate, and timely diagnostics tests. In recent years, there has been an increase in the availability and use of microscopy as well as parasitological tests such as antigen-based RDTs. However, progress has been slow and there is still a need for field-ready diagnostic tools that can detect asymptomatic infections and be used for mass screenings and surveillance. To meet this need, Global Good is exploring new diagnostic techniques, including techniques that lend themselves to automated digital microscopy.
Food safety and quality are key components of United Nation’s Millennium Development Goal of reducing poverty and hunger. In alignment with international agencies such as the Food and Agriculture Alliance, Global Good is working to improve the hygiene, transportation, and processing of food to reduce spillage and spoilage. In particular, Global Good has focused on food safety in the dairy industry, a critical part of developing world economy, to increase incomes along the dairy value chain.