Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is the latest in a series of infectious disease emergencies, including cholera, Ebola, SARS, Chikungunya, HIV/AIDS, and influenza. While scientists and drug developers, with support from governments and multilateral organizations, have been rushing to produce, test, and deliver vaccines and treatments, tech innovators also have a crucial role to play, both in the near term and to prevent and mitigate future disease outbreaks.
In the near term, the world needs improved solutions for prevention, accurate detection, and rapid response. MIT Solve, through its Health Security & Pandemics Challenge, is seeking tech innovations that can slow and track the spread of an emerging outbreak — for example, by improving individual hygiene, developing low-cost rapid diagnostics, analyzing data that informs decision making, and providing tools that protect health workers.
At the same time, the global community cannot only respond to disease outbreaks reactively. Climate change and globalization leave us ever more vulnerable to future epidemics and pandemics, and it’s critical to be prepared. For that reason (and others), Solve is seeking solutions focused on preventative and mitigation measures that strengthen access to affordable primary healthcare systems, enhance disease surveillance systems, and improve healthcare supply chains.
All solutions selected for this global challenge will receive a $10,000 grant funded by Solve. Solver teams will be selected by a panel of cross-sector judges at the Solve Challenge Finals during the meeting of UN General Assembly in New York City on September 20, 2020.
For more details on the Health Security & Pandemics Challenge, see the MIT Solve website.