Patterned paper technology represents a potential solution for many problems within the developing world—including human health, animal health and food safety. Diagnostic tests developed from this technology are portable, easy-to-use, inexpensive, disposable, and scalable, with results available in minutes. Additionally, these tests require no power, water, or technicians with advanced training. Read more about our active projects within our impact areas.
Improving human health throughout the developing world is dependent on the ability to quickly and accurately diagnose patients at the point of care. Without accurate and affordable diagnostics, patients cannot receive proper treatment. When dealing with infectious diseases, poor treatment can lead to remission, transmission, or drug-resistant strains. Additionally, as the incidence of non-communicable diseases rises in developing countries, we see an increased need for ultra-low-cost means for patients to monitor their health status.
Livestock and Agriculture
In many developing countries, livestock and agriculture are central to how a family is able to eat, generate income, and create wealth. Unfortunately, many factors - such as disease or spoilage of products, sub-optimal herd/crop management, or even not being able to prove quality - mean that many small farms never reach their full potential. We identify situations in which information gained from low-cost diagnostics can create an obvious economic return for the farmer and his or her family, increasing income and stability in agricultural communities.
Diagnostics tools can also be used to address issues of food safety at large or small scale. Contaminated food, seed, and water can have harmful effects, especially in the developing world where malnutrition and poverty often complicate communities’ interactions with food. Benefits of diagnostic testing in the developing world include preventing food spoilage, monitoring seed status, ensuring soil/plant health, and supporting quality assurance and regulatory compliance initiatives.