Institutions can shape access to technologies that advance health equity. But technologies can also shape institutions that do the same. New diagnostic tools – simple enough to be placed into the hands of ordinary citizens – could give us a readout on whether the run-off from a factory farm carries drug-resistant pathogens or whether the grocery shelves have retail meat contaminated by these bacteria. Collecting the results from such diagnostic technologies can empower consumers with tools to monitor and hold accountable those in the food supply chain for safety of their products. We see significant potential in such citizen science efforts.
Giving shape to such strategic interventions, the AHW will enhance the impact and reach of University-based research, policy work and education. By focusing on opportunities where there is transformative potential, the AHW can help identify priorities for research, position existing research for more rapid translation, or show how solutions might cross-apply from one context to another. By serving as a convener, the AHW could recruit multi-disciplinary talents to a research project, set the stage for meaningful dialogue among stakeholders that is critical to overcoming an access barrier, or incubate new partnerships or business models. By training the next generation of researchers and policymakers, the AHW can share a vision of systems thinking across disciplines, inspire social entrepreneurs and researchers alike to tackle big societal problems, and create platforms for engaging larger communities of practice in this work.
Johns Hopkins University has consistently led all other academic institutions in the country in total research dollars, and with that public funding comes also significant responsibility to provide returns to benefit humanity and to ensure health equity. TTI provides a framework by which the University can harness the fruits of such research to benefit the most disadvantaged.