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Jhpiego Receives Major Award to Innovate Lifesaving Technologies

Baltimore, MD—Jhpiego, a global health non-profit organization, will lead a multi-year effort to expand its array of simple, inexpensive lifesaving technologies to address today’s global health challenges. This cooperative venture will leverage the engineering and medical expertise of The Johns Hopkins University (JHU).

The five-year project, funded by the U.S. Agency for International Development, capitalizes on Jhpiego’s 40 years of experience in the developing world, deep understanding of global health challenges and substantial record of achievement in developing innovative health care solutions. The first year commitment totals $3 million. The project marshals the ingenuity of Jhpiego’s partners, Johns Hopkins’ Biomedical Engineering Department’s Center for Bioengineering Innovation and Design (CBID), and the Center for Global Health, along with Population Services International, to identify and develop health care technologies that create new markets, introduce them in the field, and implement them nationally and globally.

“This is an exciting new venture that builds on the breadth of Jhpiego’s technical expertise and practical experience in bringing low-cost, innovative health care solutions to countries to prevent the needless deaths of women and families,” said Leslie Mancuso, Jhpiego’s President and CEO.

As the project’s title conveys, Accelovate will identify and increase the use of innovative but simple technologies from the lab to the village to help save the lives of the most vulnerable people.

“We believe that bringing together the community of biomedical innovators to focus on global health needs and engaging with commercialization partners very early in the process has the best chance to fast-track urgently needed, low-cost solutions to save more lives,” said Dr. Harshad Sanghvi, Jhpiego’s Medical Director and Vice President for Innovations.

Accelovate will be led by Dr. Hans Vemer (Program and Research Utilization Director), Sam Dowding (Deputy Director), Dr. Soumyadipta Acharya (Co-Research Technical Director), the Graduate Program Director of CBID, and Dr. Youseph Yazdi (Co-Research Technical Director), the Executive Director of CBID at the Whiting School of Engineering.

“As engineers we are looking at these very large clinical and public health needs with a fresh perspective,” says Dr. Yazdi, of CBID. “We are developing technologies here at Hopkins to solve these problems in simple, elegant ways. The result will be transformational medical innovations that will solve some of the world’s biggest healthcare challenges.”

Added Dr. Thomas Quinn, Director of the JHU Center for Global Health:

“The diverse faculty of JHU affiliated with our Center have a strong commitment and dedication to improving the health of all people worldwide. The multi-disciplinary approach to this innovative project will enable us to utilize the expertise of all partners to help build in-country capacity and to help bridge new research findings into practice, particularly for those technologies proven to improve health in low-resource settings.”

Accelovate will work to overcome technical, supply and policy obstacles to introducing health technologies into low-resource settings that can benefit the most. The objectives of the project include:

  • Identify and prioritize promising existing technologies and unmet needs for new technologies to address health development challenges;
  • Advance the introduction of innovative health technologies in developing country settings, bridging the “research-to-use” gap in conjunction with capacity building;
  • Lead efforts to scale up global access and utilization of transformational health technologies;
  • Develop a significant sub-grants program to support the achievement of the other objectives, including collaboration with other research and technology development partners worldwide; and
  • Engage in selective development of health technologies that are appropriate, affordable and acceptable for distribution and use in low-resource settings and show promise.

Several well-meaning, health care technology innovations, aimed at low-resource settings, never see the light of the day, outside the university laboratory,” said Dr. Acharya, of CBID. “This program will enable an integrated approach towards identification, development and deployment of transformative, new technological innovations for some of the biggest health care challenges on our planet.”

For additional information, contact Melody McCoy, Director of External Relations and Communications, at 410.537.1829.

About Jhpiego

Jhpiego (pronounced “ja-pie-go”), is an international non-profit health organization affiliated with Johns Hopkins University. For nearly 40 years, Jhpiego has empowered front-line health workers by designing and implementing effective, low-cost, hands-on solutions to strengthen the delivery of health care services for women and their families. Jhpiego works to break down barriers to high-quality health care for the world’s most vulnerable populations. For more information, go to www.jhpiego.org