What will the world’s health, hospitals and capacity to tackle diseases look like in 2030? One thing for sure is that we can expect to see an increased number of forces at work influencing the health of people in low and middle income countries as economic development, political instability, extreme weather and increased sea levels are all likely to take an increased toll on countries’ infrastructure.
We’ve been warned multiple times about how diseases are mutating to be more resistant to antibiotics but we’re still struggling to treat drug-resistant TB patients. The most recent outbreak of Ebola also highlights how interventions need to keep ahead of changes to the way people live. The same response that worked fighting previous Ebola outbreaks in rural communities is not working now the disease has caught hold in densely-populated cities. Yet, with almost 5 billion people expected to live in cities by 2030 and urban growth concentrated in Africa and Asia, huge urban health challenges like this will continue to persist.
New drugs, technologies, and tools will be needed for new health challenges then that don’t even exist now. 2030 is significant as it will also mark the end of the sustainable development goals including a string of tough targets set on reducing child and maternal mortality, malnutrition and other health issues. But, to meet 2030 targets from concept to implementation, we must discuss the critical steps required to bring innovations to capacity now.
It’s easy to feel there’s an innovation overload right now, with every new 3D printing idea, mapping tool or drug course being touted as the next big thing. But NGOs, health policy makers and the private sector need to be more pro-active on working with innovators to develop products that really meet people’s needs. We also need to look more at what will be needed to make an idea work in a specific context – for example, we can’t have a conversation about developing cheap sanitary pads without discussing what will happen to the waste too.
So, how can we accelerate the development of current innovations already in the pipeline? Where do we look for ones that don’t yet exist? And what will it take to get investors on board and bring innovative ideas to scale?
Join our expert panel on Thursday 20 November, 1-3pm GMT to discuss how we identify the next generation of transformative health innovations.
The live chat is not video or audio-enabled but will take place in the comments section (below). Get in touch via firstname.lastname@example.org or@GuardianGDP on Twitter to recommend someone for our expert panel. Follow the discussion using the hashtag #globaldevlive.