What was the defining moment that you led to this innovation?
A senior design team in 2006 designed the first Diagnostic Lab-in-a-Backpack in response to challenges had by partner healthcare providers working with medical brigades in developing countries. This first pack, containing tools to conduct a basic laboratory work up on a patient in areas with little to no infrastructure, was well received by these medical brigades. The students who designed the pack were recognized at the 2008 Clinton Global Initiative University meeting and awarded a grant to refine and produce more of the packs. In the words of President Clinton, "The potential of this to save lives is really quite staggering." Discussions with our partners in the field led both to modifications of the original pack and generated ideas for new specialized packs. Now, the OB-GYN pack is one of a suite of backpacks, including a dental pack, eye care pack, and a community health outreach worker pack.
Tell us about the social innovator behind this idea.
Our social innovators are Rice University undergraduates. Healthcare providers in the developing world provide our students with challenges associated with delivering care in resource-poor settings. In global health design courses, multi-disciplinary teams of undergraduates work with faculty and in-country mentors to develop technologies and educational programs in response to these challenges. 19,000 people in 15 countries have benefitted from 28 technologies designed by 333 students in our program.
How did you first hear about Changemakers?
If through another, please provide the name of the organization or company