Driving Innovation

Innovation fuels the fight against AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria

Innovation is a driving force in progress against AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria, and helps to ensure that every dollar invested in the Global Fund achieves maximum impact. From new treatments to strengthening supply chains and risk management, the Global Fund recognizes that innovations come in many forms. The Global Fund not only spearheads new ideas, but also works with partners to implement ideas on-the-ground.

The eMpower mobile app, for example, was developed as part of a collaboration among the Global Fund, IBM and HIV organizations to assist community outreach workers. By replacing paper reports with the app, the Global Fund has been able to speed up patient reporting for more than 1 million people in treatment and prevention programs. Additionally, the app uses images to help patients with limited literacy and includes multiple language settings to accommodate local dialects, all of which help to improve overall patient reporting and data quality. Due to the early success of the app, IBM and the Global Fund are looking to identify additional future uses.

Through its funding of South Africa’s Right to Care project, the Global Fund has supported the development of a machine that dispenses antiretroviral drugs to people with HIV. A pilot program is currently underway to install units in both rural and densely populated parts of South Africa that are far from a doctor or clinic. Through smartcard IDs, patients will be able to withdraw three months of medication, and connect via webcam to an on-call pharmacist as needed. It is anticipated that the machine, created by South African developers with robotics from Germany, could be a game-changer in HIV treatment by easing obstacles to care such as distance and travel time.

Read about other Global Fund innovations, such as the global online marketplace Wambo.org, created to increase transparency, efficiency and risk management in procurement practices.