Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Crowd sourcing for a solution to the West African Ebola epidemic

 With the current Ebola outbreak raging in West Africa and with no immediate solution in sight,  the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) has proposed an online challenge to think "outside the box" regarding solutions for the current Ebola crisis.

Today, USAID launched the Fighting Ebola: A Grand Challenge for Development with a call to innovators around the world to submit ideas focused on improving the tools used by frontline healthcare workers in the fight against Ebola in West Africa. The initial focus of the Challenge, as announced by President Obama on Sept. 26, is to generate pioneering solutions to improve the personal protective equipment (PPE) and tools used by healthcare workers battling Ebola.

The Fighting Ebola Grand Challenge will help to identify innovations that improve the comfort while maintaining the safety of PPE – masks, gloves, boots, and other protective gear used by healthcare workers.

The website is an open innovation platform to crowd source and incubate innovative ideas to improve delivery of care and stem the spread of disease, including improvements in PPE;  a  challenge competition to fund and test innovations for PPE, infection treatment and control; and  partnerships for rapid testing and deployment of the best solutions.

To share your ideas or to join the conversation, visit http://ebolagrandchallenge.net.

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