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Protecting our planet - health solutions

The World Health Organisation (WHO) states that large strides have been made in the last 20 years in reducing child mortality, improving maternal health and fighting HIV/AIDS, malaria and other diseases. But despite this progress, preventable diseases such as measles and tuberculosis are still responsible for the deaths of thousands of children each day.

Deaths such as these can be avoided through prevention and treatment, and immunization campaigns. Providing access to safe and affordable medicines and vaccines is just part of the solution. New methods of drug delivery are in development, such as drug modification by chemical means and drug entrapment in polymeric materials that are placed in parts of the body, such as the eyelid. However, these things can take years to get to market, and even longer to get to where they are really needed.

The issue of how medical advancements can contribute to protecting our planet has been in the news:

  • In August 2018, The Lancet reported on how the longest epidemic of Ebola virus was interrupted by the rapid identification and isolation of cases, though development of a vaccine is still a priority.
  • The BMJ recently published a research paper on the links between alcohol consumption and the risks of dementia, a condition which is becoming more prevalent with the West’s increasing aging population.
  • The University of Bath recently developed a non-invasive, adhesive patch, which allows the measurement of glucose levels through the skin without the need for a finger-prick blood test, potentially removing the need for millions of diabetics to frequently carry out painful tests.

YES alumni created tools and technologies to deliver health solutions

Over the years, YES alumni have come up with some innovative ideas to create tools and technologies which help deliver health solutions more quickly or at lower cost. Here are just a few of them:

Bonington Biosolutions (University of Nottingham) produced a custom 3D-printed knee implant using MRI scans of the damaged knee eliminating the need for total knee replacement.

ISO Dose (University of Manchester) developed a drug delivery system which actively responds to the drug concentration in the body ensuring a consistent optimum dose. 

mHealthWatchDog (Aston University) designed a machine-learning algorithm to monitor the key metabolites obtained from an implantable blood-test lab to predict a heart attack up to 4 hours in advance. 

nanOvaCare (Imperial College London) invented an easy-to-use test for early detection of ovarian cancer. 

Symbioma (Queen Mary University of London) created a technology which utilises the skin microbiome to help treat and prevent eczema flares. 

Synaptex (University of Cambridge) formulated a reversible, non-hormonal male contraceptive pill. This pill targets the early stages of meiosis to prevent sperm production.

What’s your idea for this year’s workshop?

For the Biomedical workshop, remember your challenges are as follows: 

  • Diagnostic tests
  • Medical devices
  • Drug delivery
  • Drug discovery
  • Healthy ageing 
  • New tools for therapies


Want to shout about your brilliant idea? Send us an email with your address and we will pop one in the post.


Young Entrepreneurs Scheme

  • Haydn Green Institute for Innovation and Entrepreneurship
  • Nottingham University Business School
  • Jubilee Campus
  • Nottingham, NG8 1BB