How can communities prepare for, detect, and respond to emerging pandemics and health security threats?
The Covid-19 pandemic has tragically exposed our lack of global preparedness for disease outbreaks. As of March 1, 2021, over 110 million confirmed cases of Covid-19 have been reported, and nearly 2 million people have died. The crisis also highlights huge health inequities and has laid bare the urgent need to reduce the risk of future health security threats and address the weaknesses in our health systems.
Further, Covid-19 is the latest in a series of infectious disease emergencies, including Cholera, Ebola, SARS, Chikungunya, HIV/AIDS, H1N1, and influenza. Climate change and increasing globalization ensure that it won’t be the last.
While many relevant solutions will rely on researchers or policymakers, there is also a clear role for tech innovators to support health security for all. The MIT Solve community is looking for technology-based solutions that protect all people—especially those most underserved and at risk because of their race, ethnicity, age, gender, or income—from the impacts of disease outbreaks. To that end, Solve seeks solutions that:
– Equip last-mile primary healthcare providers with the necessary tools and knowledge to detect disease outbreaks quickly and respond to them effectively.
– Strengthen disease surveillance, early warning predictive systems, and other data systems to detect, slow, or halt future disease outbreaks.
– Prevent the spread of misinformation and inspire individuals to protect themselves and their communities, including through information campaigns and behavioral nudges.
– Combat loneliness, stress, depression, and other mental health impacts of disease outbreaks.