By: Trang Nguyen
Science is constantly evolving and improving; as a result, businesses are competing to produce the next big idea. Here are the top five emerging businesses that are tackling the world’s biggest healthcare issues.
1. Safaricom is an integrated communications company in Kenya. With more than half of the country in extreme poverty, Kenyans struggle to get access to healthcare. Safaricom works to bridge this gap in several ways. A few years ago, the company launched a 24/7 call-in service that has connected patients directly with physicians for an affordable fee. Additionally, Safaricom partnered with the insurance company, Britam, to launch a healthcare plan aimed at the millions of uninsured Kenyans.
2. Countless debates are centered on the best way to reduce healthcare costs. SeeChange Health believes encouraging healthier living will help lower healthcare costs. The company’s Incentive Platform brings an innovative twist to traditional healthcare. Some of the features of the Incentive Platform include a “Personalized Health Action Plan” that maps out actions to take to improve one’s health, which is customized based on an individual’s demographic group and is updatable. Along with the “Personalized Health Action Plan” are “Health Action Rewards,” which reward individuals for taking the steps to live a healthier life.
3. Millions of people worldwide are victims of mosquito-borne diseases, with the two most prevalent being malaria and dengue fever. Oxitec is pioneering a prevention method that focuses on controlling these diseases by reducing the mosquito carrier population. Their proposed solution works like this: male mosquitoes are genetically engineered to carry a lethal gene and are subsequently released into dengue heavy populations to mate with female mosquitos. The following generation of mosquitoes do not live to adulthood to reproduce, thus reducing the disease-carrying mosquito population. Oxitec is now expanding their scope to target insects that destroy crops.
4. D-Rev is a not-for-profit aimed at improving third-world health care through product design. The goal is to design and distribute more affordable health care products by lowering manufacturing costs. A few of their current products include a design for a high-performance knee joint for amputees, solar technology to help power households in rural areas and a microscope for rural clinics to aid in the detection of diseases such as malaria and tuberculosis. Some of the low income areas that D-Rev has worked with are Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania, Sri Lanka, and Iraq.
5. The last company on this list has a product that seems to be straight out of a science fiction novel. Proteus Digital Health offers its customers a Digital Health Feedback System. The platform works through an ingestible sensor, taken with an individual’s medications and powered through stomach fluids. The patient wears a patch that receives information from the ingested sensor and relays this information to to your mobile device. This technology can track how a certain medications will affect an individual’s body, which appeals to many pharmaceutical companies and patients.
As technology and science advance, new businesses are competing to come up with the next big idea. These five companies are paving the way for new innovations to take almost any direction.