Herrick, T., et al., Modeling the potential impact of emerging innovations on achievement of Sustainable Development Goals related to maternal, newborn, and child health. Cost Effectiveness and Resource Allocation : C/E, 2017. 15: p. 12.



Innovations that improve the affordability, accessibility, or effectiveness of health care played a major role in the Millennium Development Goal achievements and will be critical for reaching the ambitious new Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) health targets. Mechanisms to identify and prioritize innovations are essential to inform future investment decisions.


Innovation Countdown 2030 crowdsourced health innovations from around the world and engaged recognized experts to systematically assess their lifesaving potential by 2030. A health impact modeling approach was developed and used to quantify the costs and lives saved for select innovations identified as having great promise for improving maternal, newborn, and child health.


Preventive innovations targeting health conditions with a high mortality burden had the greatest impact in regard to the absolute number of estimated lives saved. The largest projected health impact was for a new tool for small-scale water treatment that automatically chlorinates water to a safe concentration without using electricity or moving parts. An estimated 1.5 million deaths from diarrheal disease among children under five could be prevented by 2030 by scaling up use of this technology. Use of chlorhexidine for umbilical cord care was associated with the second highest number of lives saved.


The results show why a systematic modeling approach that can compare and contrast investment opportunities is important for prioritizing global health innovations. Rigorous impact estimates are needed to allocate limited resources toward the innovations with great potential to advance the SDGs.


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