SpaceTech for Health
High level Panel on Scaling multi-sectoral collaboration between Healthcare and Space industry
Virtual lobby- United Nations General Assembly(UNGA)- 2020
Date: 22 Sep 2020
Time: 10.00 Hrs CET
The UNAIDS Health Innovation Exchange (HIEx) platform was launched during the
World Health Assembly (WHA) in 2019. Since its launch, the HIEx has matured into a multi-layered platform that acts as a neutral facilitator and broker of innovative solutions for health, particularly in the Global South. HIEx has been working with countries on the analysis of health priorities and needs, curating tailored health innovations to match the challenges, and brokering investments to ensure the scale
and sustainability of their implementation.
The COVID-19 pandemic has demonstrated the potential of innovation – from the
use of AI for diagnosis to rapid repurposing of telemedicine platforms to train health care workers as well as in rapid development of new diagnostic tools. However, the pandemic also threatens to undermine the gains that have been made, particularly the potential disruption of the innovation ecosystems built over several years.
Humans could put a man on moon in 1969, however half a century later, a small virus can bring humanity to standstill on earth. Significant progress has been
achieved in space research. There are many applications in the space industry which can be used in healthcare. For example, the launch of low orbit satellites will
help reduce the digital divide by providing internet coverage across the globe. This
can help in telemedicine and strengthening primary healthcare centres in many part
of the world. The use of spacetech in health include using satellite data to track COVID-19 or treating asthma and even cure cancer using plasma.
The discussion will cover the following key topics
1. Leadership and visioning cross-industry collaboration with Healthcare and Space Industry
2. Leveraging Space innovations for health.
3. Spotlight on international collaboration in Space-tech for SDGs.
Key messages emerging (based on discussions with several stakeholders and the
Technology and innovation can be a critical enabler as we vision and (re)build resilient systems for health post COVID. Countries will need to think how the cutting-edge innovations in space can be repurposed to build
sustainable solutions for health as Space-tech involves optimizing the use
of scarce resources in hostile environments.
As countries revamp their systems for health, it is critical that it also leverage
existing innovations in other sectors like space-tech.
A multisectoral approach that addresses fundamental barriers across sectors that impact health would be critical.
Outsourcing health related projects to startups that can leverage on existing
innovations by the space and aeronautics sector. Their processes are tuned to a high level of dependability with low margins of error.