Innovations in Vaccines and Data to Transform Health by 2030
By Tara Newton, Communications Associate, BID Initiative
Jul 16, 2015
Innovation Countdown 2030 is reimagining what’s possible in global health. Led by PATH, the initiative is identifying and showcasing technologies and interventions with great promise to accelerate progress toward solving the world’s most urgent health issues.
Reimagining Global Health, Innovation Countdown 2030’s inaugural report, launched at the Financing for Development Conference in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia on July 13. Over 500 global health innovations were submitted by people in 50 countries. Nearly 30 percent of the submissions came from people in low- and middle-income countries, giving voice to their growing role in health innovation. This report features 30 high-impact innovations selected by independent global experts for their promise to save lives, as well as commentaries by health, technology, and business leaders on the essential role of innovation in driving health impact.
We know that routine immunizations and new vaccine introductions have proven to be two of the best investments to improving health around the world and are pleased to see vaccines account for five of the 30 innovations which includes both ready-to-use innovations as well as those still in the pipeline. Innovative vaccines to prevent malaria, HIV, TB and HPV as well as a malaria transmission- blocking vaccine hold special promise for reducing the global burden of these infectious diseases.
The report also emphasizes crosscutting solutions to strengthen the underlying foundation of innovation platforms and health systems. Specifically, the importance of data collection, management and use innovations to create or improve existing data systems and generate high-quality, timely information to inform decision-making. For example, one submission featured a mobile device to guide health workers through clinical work flows while automating data capture. The innovation provides real-time data to health care decision-makers and other stakeholders. This undoubtedly resonated with us at the BID Initiative as we work to design and implement solutions like the new electronic immunization registry in Tanzania that will reduce the burden of data collection on health workers and allow district officials to use real-time data to efficiently target resources and vaccine supplies.
The global community has made great progress in reducing the number of deaths from vaccine-preventable diseases. However, reaching more people requires innovation—innovation not only in vaccines but also in better data, quality and use to reach the unvaccinated or under-vaccinated to ensure no child misses a potentially life-protecting vaccine.