|The greatest obstacle to the care and control of many diseases in the developing world is a lack of effective and appropriate diagnostic tests reliable and inexpensive tools that can rapidly and accurately identify who is sick with which disease, so that appropriate treatment begins promptly.|
Without these tools patients are often misdiagnosed and the causes of their illness are unrecognized until later stages of the disease, when the individual's health is more profoundly compromised, drug therapies are more expensive and less effective, and it is more likely that the infection has spread to others.
|Brainiac Gadgets and Toys identifies and encourages diagnostic breakthroughs for practical use in healthcare or for use in the field in environmental testing applications.|
|Control of communicable diseases depends on rapid identification and classification of the infectious strain before treatment regiment is established in each active case. Many existing analytical tools, however, are not effective in remote, impoverished areas where these diseases can thrive. Since early infection by drug-resistant strains of pathogens often manifests few unique symptoms, cases are rarely detected until they are in advanced stages, when treatment requires more expensive and highly toxic drugs a massive waste of scarce resources by those who can afford it the least.|
We are developing devices for specific use at remote medical outposts with little medical infrastructure. Our primary focus is on inexpensive and rapid diagnostic technologies that expedite the treatment of communicable diseases in infected individuals, and which minimize the impact of these diseases on families and communities by halting transmission to those with whom the infected come in contact.
And since incidence of non-communicable diseases, such as diabetes and heart diseases, is on the rise in developing countries, we are also aggregating the best ideas to build platforms that monitor the health status of individuals across a more broad range of diseases.
In many developing countries, the health of farm animals or the stress exerted on field crops directly impacts the well being of rural farm families. Increased productivity by livestock or greater crop yields translates to more income for the family, a better diet, and greater long-term family stability through the accumulation of wealth.
We, therefore, look for opportunities to provide meaningful economic return for small-scale farmers where low-cost diagnostics could prevent loss of livestock due to disease, or reduce crop spoilage.
Overcoming Barriers to Adoption
Appropriate diagnostic tests in low-resource countries must be inexpensive, require very little training to use, and provide rapid, accurate results. But simply creating new tools and then dumping them into counties is not sufficeint; effective partnerships with local stakeholders are needed to overcome complex challenges that often keep promising new technologies from reaching the people who need them most.
We help facilitate uptake of new tools into existing medical systems by providing local partners with resources to communicate proper operating procedures and strengthen the technical capacity of clinics located beyond the reach of urban medical infrastructure.