In the developing world, it’s not always as simple as sending samples off to the lab. PATH’s diagnostic tests can be used almost anywhere.
For a quarter century, HealthTech has been advancing technology solutions for better health in the developing world
The United States Agency for International Development and PATH signed the first HealthTech cooperative agreement in 1987 with the idea that technologies tailored for use in low-resource settings could improve the health of families around the world.
Charged with identifying and advancing technology solutions for priority health issues in the developing world, the HealthTech program has supported early proof-of-concept and feasibility studies as well as later-stage steps to get products to market. HealthTech efforts have bolstered the confidence of partners and donors to scale up technologies.
Over time, HealthTech has leveraged opportunities for collaboration and co-investment with others deeply involved in global health, including the World Health Organization, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the National Institutes of Health, the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), the United Nations Population Fund, and individual donors. We provide commercialization partners with valuable incentives to participate in developing-world public health markets. We bridge the gap between the public and private sectors to forge collaborations that benefit both, resulting in innovative technologies made for people in low-resource settings.
Achieving impact worldwide
Examples of the global impact of technologies advanced under the HealthTech program include:
- 68 million HIV dipstick diagnostic tests purchased since 1993. PATH was an early developer of a rapid, low-cost test for HIV. We transferred the technology to manufacturers in India, catalyzing the market for affordable tests and resulting in more accessible HIV testing throughout the developing world.
- 88 million prefilled, single-use Uniject™ injection systems distributed since 2000. Uniject, developed under HealthTech, is used throughout Indonesia to deliver hepatitis B vaccine to all newborns. It soon will extend its reach to other products, including the pentavalent hepatitis B vaccine as well as an injectable contraceptive administered once every three months.
- 183 million immunochromatographic diagnostic strip tests for Plasmodium falciparum malaria—originally developed under HealthTech—used in clinics and hospitals in the developing world to provide same-day test results. PATH is now applying strip test technology to develop diagnostics for neglected tropical diseases like Chagas disease and river blindness.
- 4 billion vaccine vial monitors (VVMs) applied to vials of vaccines. Beginning in 2001, all vaccines distributed by UNICEF have used a VVM developed and advanced under HealthTech to monitor damaging heat exposure. Over the next decade, PATH estimates VVMs will allow health workers to more effectively deliver an additional 1.5 billion vaccine doses in remote settings.
- 6.7 billion vaccinations delivered using SoloShot™ syringes in developing countries since 1990. SoloShot, developed under HealthTech, was the first commercially available autodisable syringe and catalyzed a global policy shift in safe injection.
Lifesaving solutions for use worldwide
HealthTech has advanced many lifesaving solutions for the health programs of developing countries and worldwide public health campaigns. Our technologies include clean-delivery kits for safer at-home births, thermostable vaccines that can withstand greater heat exposure than those of the past, and user-designed female contraceptives and HIV prevention technologies, including the Woman’s Condom and SILCS diaphragm.
Under four continuous HealthTech cooperative agreements, we have investigated hundreds of technologies and evaluated dozens in the field. More than 20 of our technologies have been made available for regional or global use. The results achieved using our unique and integrated approach have proved that HealthTech can bridge conventional challenges and build effective partnerships that help solve global health problems.
SoloShot and Uniject are trademarks of BD.