By Sy Mukherjee
October 5, 2018

Happy Friday, readers. This is Sy.

It seems to be a bit of a light day for health care news as the nation remains transfixed with high Capitol Hill drama over the Supreme Court. But I wanted to take a moment to reflect on a fascinating conversation I recently had with Dr. Seth Berkley, the CEO of public-private vaccine partnership Gavi.

Beyond its intriguing business model, Gavi is also an enthusiastic proponent of newfangled technologies in the fight against infectious disease. For instance, Berkley spoke with me at length about the potential for drones, through its partnership with firms like Zipline, to get medications to hard-to-reach regions in developing nations. The benefits are obvious and scaleable: Rather than train health workers and deploy them across a nation, local workers can be trained on the spot and the resources they need can be sent to them remotely. (As Berkley notes, a bigger challenge will be using such technology in areas with more conflict and where the drones may, well, not make it to where they need to be.)

Technology’s role in this global health quest expands well beyond delivery services, though. Fundamental issues like keeping track of children’s medical records and very identities may be addressed via biometrics; sophisticated, IOT-enabled sensors placed on fridges can be used to record temperature fluctuations to help preserve precious resources like the Ebola vaccine, which are highly heat-sensitive.

I’ll have more on my conversation with Berkley and Gavi in the coming days. In the meantime, read on for the day’s news and have a wonderful weekend.

Sy Mukherjee


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