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GDI and ITT Partner to Design Tech Solutions for COVID-19 in Low-Income Countries

In response to the global COVID-19 crisis, the Global Development Incubator (GDI) and the Institute for Transformative Technologies (ITT) have launched a partnership to curate, design and promote effective solutions to the COVID response in low-income countries. This initiative recognizes that while much of the current attention to COVID response has been focused on tertiary care hospital systems, the vast majority of patients in low-income countries only have access to primary care clinics where resources and skilled health workers are in short supply. Unless such under-resourced health systems are equipped quickly with the right tools and services, it could devastate the lives of billions of people and fundamentally cripple their economies.    

The initiative will focus on high-impact technology innovations for primary healthcare systems, along with solutions for the necessary operational and logistics challenges, policy imperatives and capacity needs. 

“Where effective solutions and templates already exist, the initiative will validate and promote them; where solutions do not exist, we will rapidly develop and deploy them. Our goal is both to help mobilize solutions for the short-term crisis, as well as develop longer-term solutions to ensure ongoing needs are effectively addressed through resilient systems,” said Andrew Stern, GDI Founder and CEO. The initiative will be supported by an advisory panel consisting of renowned experts in public health and COVID response, practicing clinicians from target countries, as well as medical device companies at the forefront of the global response.

“We have already begun addressing one of the most glaring gaps: ultra-low-cost devices for delivering oxygen and respiratory support, geared specifically for use in primary care settings,” said Shashi Buluswar, CEO of ITT.

ITT is one of the world’s leading technology-for-development organizations, working on a range of technologies critical to health, food security, water, and energy access. Its most recent accomplishment is its partnership with India’s Tata Power which launched the world’s largest electricity access initiative to supply power to  25 million people in India’s poorest villages. ITT’s portfolio also includes one of the world’s most widely deployed sanitation systems for low-income settings. Its pioneering 50 Breakthroughs study is widely recognized as the technology anchor for the SDGs.

GDI is an incubator for transformational development ventures, working to build and scale the next generation of social impact solutions. From climate to agriculture, health to economic inclusion, GDI builds across sectors to drive game-changing impact at scale. Whether the concepts originate from sector experts, or are developed and tested ourselves, GDI creates new approaches to address persistent global issues.