Patterned paper technology represents a potential solution for human health, animal health and food safety problems faced within the developing world. 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 trained doctors. Click here to learn more about active projects within our impact areas.
Improving health in 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 and drug-resistant strains of infectious disease can arise. Additionally, the incidence of non-communicable diseases, such as diabetes and heart disease, is rapidly rising in developing countries, highlighting the need for ultra-low-cost means for patients to monitor their health status.
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 loss due to disease or spoilage, sub-optimal herd/crop management, or even not being able to prove quality, mean the reality often does not match the potential benefits. We identify situations in which information gained from low-cost diagnostics can create an obvious economic return for the farmer and its family, increasing income and stability.
Additional 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.