Global Health Ideas

Finding global health solutions through innovation and technology

Archive for September 2007

MTV Launches Activist Network

Here is a new site by MTV – They have various videos and links that of course feature artists and also non-artist involvement. MTV can clearly be a powerful motivator, their engagement is interesting and a testament to the hipness of being involved in social causes or at least giving that perception. Let’s hope this does well and gets a younger generation mobilized, screen shots and description below (along with a Jay Z video of him at the UN, click on the picture):

“NEW YORK (Reuters) – Viacom Inc’s MTV will launch a new Internet social network sponsored by foundations operated by the founders of Microsoft and AOL to encourage youth activism….It will let users create pages, as on other online social networks Facebook and MySpace, and upload photos and videos, some of which may be aired on MTV’s online or cable network.” Full story here: MTV to launch activism social network

Jay Z on his issue – Water:

The web site:


Written by Aman

September 30, 2007 at 7:43 pm

OpenEpi online

This new resource, OpenEpi, has been showing up on a couple of listservs that I subscribe to. After looking around the site, it does seem to have a good deal of epi tools at the ready. Might be of interest to some of our readers. From the OpenEpi site

OpenEpi provides statistics for counts and person-time rates in descriptive and analytic studies, stratified analysis with exact confidence limits, matched pair analysis, sample size and power calculations, random numbers, chi-square for dose-response trend, sensitivity, specificity and other evaluation statistics, R x C tables, and links to other useful sites.

OpenEpi is free and open source software for epidemiologic statistics. It can be run from a web server or downloaded and run without a web connection. A server is not required. The programs are written in JavaScript and HTML, and should be compatible with recent Linux, Mac, and PC browsers, regardless of operating system. (If you are seeing this, your browser settings are allowing JavaScript.) A new tabbed interface avoids popup windows except for help files.

Test results are provided for each module so that you can judge reliability, although it is always a good idea to check important results with software from more than one source. Links to hundreds of Internet calculators are provided…

Written by Ben

September 24, 2007 at 12:37 am

Posted in Global Health

Clinton Global Initiative Webcast

The Kaiser Family Foundation is probably the best disseminator of information, this is their bread and butter. Thanks to them, you can watch the proceedings of the Clinton Foundation annual meeting (this week). The image below will take you to instructions for the free webcast and you can check out the Foundation’s web page for further information on scheduling. In addition the Financial Times has a page dedicated to covering the annual summit. For those in the public health community, that fact that FT is covering this is yet one more sign that the business community is starting to get involved in global health/development issues. See the FT website here.

Written by Aman

September 23, 2007 at 2:53 pm

TruDiagnosis: The Ultimate Diagnostic Device

Wired magazine has a fascinating piece from last month on the “ultimate medical diagnostic device” which is being developed in collaboration with the private sector. It is by Thomas Goetz who runs his own blog: Epidemix. Excerpts below:

Our inability to diagnose and track infectious disease quickly and accurately remains a serious problem…The problem with cultures is that they take a long time — three weeks or more — to produce a definitive result. In those three weeks, antibiotics may be fortifying the bacteria’s resistance rather than curing the patient. In those three weeks, a TB patient goes back into the population and spreads disease. In those three weeks, the bacteria have enough time to escape our grasp. What’s needed, then, is a new way to diagnose the disease: one at least as fast as the sputum microscopy test, as accurate as the culture, and refined enough to differentiate between garden-variety bacteria and drug-resistant strains. What’s needed is nothing less than a new gold standard…Those tests might finally be at hand. There is a crop of diagnostic tools on the horizon… Dozens of companies are investing hundreds of millions of dollars to develop these new tools.”

“TruDiagnosis: It combines advances in microfluidics (miniaturized pumps and channels), microarrays (micron-sized sensors affixed to a chip), and engineering into what could be the ultimate medical gadget: a handheld device that, using a small sample of blood or spit, reveals in mere minutes every pathogen inside the body.”

Written by Aman

September 18, 2007 at 9:20 pm

Another Billionaire for Global Health

As we have discussed before on this blog, philanthropy is becoming a major influence in the global health arena unlike at any other time in our history (see a previous post on the Gates Foundation here and the recent influx of over $250 Million for global health education here). Michael Bloomberg, the mayor of New York and multi-billionaire, may be aiming to ramp up his philanthropic efforts after he leaves office. Health related excerpts from the news release below:

“Estimates of Bloomberg’s wealth range from $5.5 billion to more than $13 billion, and his riches would multiply if he sold the financial information company he founded…Some of last year’s $165 million went toward starting a worldwide campaign he announced last year against smoking, a health concern he says is often overlooked in philanthropy. He has pledged $125 million over a few years for the cause…”

“Aides said he is set to announce a $9 million gift to the World Health Organization over the next two years to prevent traffic fatalities. They are a leading cause of death among young people in low- and middle-income countries and one more cause that does not get a lot of philanthropic attention…Some of his largest personal gifts have gone to The Johns Hopkins University. In 2006, he also gave $100 million for medical research and a new children’s hospital…” Full story.

Written by Aman

September 16, 2007 at 6:26 pm

Posted in Philanthropy

From KaiserNetwork: “Researchers Use GPS, PDAs for Malaria Prevention in Africa, Study Says”

CDC researchers have developed new tools using GPS technology and PDAs to help prevent the spread of malaria in Africa, according to a study published in the August issue of the American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene, InformationWeek reports. Researchers used the devices to collect data on the use of insecticide-treated nets in homes in Niger and Togo.

The researchers used sampling software for Windows Mobile devices to compile complete lists of households in the area and employed GPS systems to locate homes and interview a random sample of people. Study co-author Jodi Vanden Eng in a statement said, “Before we developed this method using these devices, it usually took days, or even weeks to complete the same task” that the researchers now can accomplish in one day.

Full story summarized on KaiserNetwork.

Written by Ben

September 13, 2007 at 11:44 am

John Lenon for Darfur

In case you hadn’t heard about Amnesty’s latest Darfur campaign: Instant Karma. None other than Bono/U2 kicks off the charity CD available at Amazon.


Disc 1
1. Instant Karma — U2
2. #9 Dream — R.E.M.
3. Mother — Christina Aguilera
4. Give Peace A Chance — Aerosmith with Sierra Leone Refuge All-Stars
5. Cold Turkey — Lenny Kravitz
6. Whatever Gets You Through the Night — Los Lonely Boys
7. I’m Losing You — Corinne Bailey Rae
8. Gimme Some Truth — Jakob Dylan Feat. Dhani Harrison
9. Oh, My Love — Jackson Browne
10. Imagine — Avril Lavigne

Written by Aman

September 10, 2007 at 7:59 pm