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Jhpiego, GE Foundation Unveil Partnership For Innovation

GE Foundation has awarded $1.6 million to Jhpiego, a global health nonprofit and Johns Hopkins University affiliate, to support a “partnership for innovation” that will develop low-cost, lifesaving technologies that can transform health care for women and children in developing countries.

The two-year collaborative venture builds on Jhpiego’s pioneering innovations expertise and nearly 40 years of global health experience, combined with the ingenuity and technical know-how of its innovations partner, the Johns Hopkins Center for Bioengineering Innovation and Design (JHU-CBID), which is located in the Department of Biomedical Engineering.

“Like its corporate motto, the GE Foundation is helping Jhpiego and CBID bring to life technologies that will transform aspects of maternal and child health to benefit women and families,” said Leslie Mancuso, Jhpiego’s President and CEO. “We couldn’t have a better partner to build and advance our innovations program.”

GE Foundation will support Jhpiego’s Innovation Development Program and partnership with JHU-CBID to expand and strengthen a portfolio of extremely affordable, lifesaving technologies that can greatly strengthen health care delivery in the most underserved settings.

Centered on maternal and child health, the program focuses on early-stage innovation and then, for selected projects, field-testing and product introduction. An example of such a technology is the ePartogram, a “smart” device now in development that automates the manual charting of labor and delivery information, aiding in assessment of the progress of labor and timely recognition of certain complications. This lifesaving technology will undergo feasibility testing for safety, acceptability and effectiveness with GE Foundation support.

GE Foundation will also support the Global Health Innovation Fellowship Program, a collaboration between Jhpiego and CBID that fosters the professional development of bright, young engineers who are interested in global health technology innovation.

Dr. Harshad Sanghvi, Jhpiego’s Vice President and Medical Director, who oversees the organization’s Innovation Development Program, said the GE Foundation partnership “will boost Jhpiego’s vision for developing disruptive technologies to save more lives by increasing coverage, quality and impact at scale among the world’s most vulnerable populations.”

Added Youseph Yazdi, Executive Director of the CBID program: “This grant builds on CBID’s award-winning Global Health Innovation Program that is based on partnering students with experts like Jhpiego. With GE Foundation support, our students will be able to increase their impact on some of the toughest health challenges around the world.”