USAID and Partners Announce Innovators for LAUNCH: Health Forum

For Immediate Release

Tuesday, October 26, 2010
USAID Press Office

WASHINGTON D.C. – The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), NASA, NIKE, Inc. and the U.S. Department of State are pleased to announce those selected to participate in the LAUNCH: Health Forum. The innovators selected will participate in an event at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida October 30-31, followed immediately by the launch of the Space Shuttle Discovery on November 1.

The idea behind LAUNCH is to identify, showcase and support innovative approaches to solving humanity’s sustainability challenges through a series of forums. The second event in this LAUNCH series, LAUNCH: Health, focuses specifically on health issues related to the first 20 years of life.

“USAID is very excited about this group of LAUNCH: Health innovators. These entrepreneurs are on the front lines of applying science and technology solutions to critical challenges in global health,” said Alex Dehgan, Director of USAID’s Office of Science and Technology. “USAID and our LAUNCH partners are committed to assisting them in improving and scaling their innovations.”

The LAUNCH: HEALTH innovators and their innovations:

  • NETRA: A low cost eye diagnostic device for the developing world using smart phones - Ramesh Raskar, MIT Media Lab
  • ZamZee: An activity monitoring device providing real and virtual rewards for increased exercise - Jonathan Attwood, CEO, ZamZee
  • BIONEEDLE: A biodegradable polymer needle for vaccine delivery - Gijsbert van de Wijdeven, Chief Science Officer, Bioneedle Technology Group
  • The Chlorine Bank: Community based grocery stores for delivering water purification products and information in at risk communities in Central America - Erick Toledo, The Chlorine Bank
  • LUCAS: A miniaturized microscope that attaches to a cell phone and allows for the detection of parasites and bacteria in blood and water in remote locations - Aydogan Ozcan, Professor of Electrical Engineering at UCLA and the California Nanosystems Institute
  • FrontLine SMS: Medic: An mHealth platform for health diagnostics using mobile phones in the developing world- Dieterich Lawson, Director, FrontLine SMS:Medic
  • Asthmapolis: A smart inhaler providing real-time analytical data to patients, doctors and public health administrators - David Van Sickle, Co-Founder and CEO, Asthmapolis
  • mChip: A low cost, next generation “lab on a chip” - Samual Sia, Assistant Professor of Biomedical Engineering, Columbia University
  • HealthySocial/Food Hero: A social network and gaming platform inspiring healthy behavior and outcomes for children - Ben Reis, Children’s Hospital Boston
  • MediCompass Connect: Networked healthcare management system allows patients to monitor and store their health status and send that data to their doctor instantly - Matt Sanders, iMetrikus

During the two-day forum, the innovators will discuss their proposed solutions to health issues with LAUNCH Council members who represent the business, international development, policy, engineering, science, communications and sustainability sectors. The sessions are designed to identify challenges and discuss future opportunities for the entrepreneurs' innovations.

Profiles of the innovators and their innovations can be found at . Real-time Forum information will also be available on the website, while video of the innovators’ presentations will be available soon after the forum. Interested members of the public will be able to watch portions of the Forum live online—please check or for the live stream URL.

To learn more about LAUNCH, visit:

For more information about USAID and its programs around the world, please visit: .

For more information about NASA and agency programs, visit:

For more information about the U.S. Department of State, visit

For more information about NIKE, visit

Last updated: June 21, 2017

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