Strategic investment in 15 promising technologies could help make the world better prepared and equipped to prevent future infectious disease outbreaks from becoming catastrophic events – according to a new report.
The study, conducted by a team of researchers at the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security, is among the first to assess technologies for the purpose of reducing GCBRs – a special category of risk defined previously by the center as threats from biological agents that could lead to sudden, extraordinary, widespread disaster beyond the collective capability of national and international organizations and the private sector to control.
“While systems to respond [to an outbreak] are in place in many areas of the world, traditional approaches can be too slow or limited in scope to prevent biological events from becoming severe, even in the best of circumstances,” wrote the center authors. “This type of response remains critically important for today’s emergencies, but it can and should be augmented by novel methods and technologies to improve the speed, accuracy, scalability, and reach of the response.”
Through an extensive literature review and interviews with more than 50 experts, the center project team identified 15 example technologies and grouped them into 5 broad categories that are significantly relevant to public health preparedness and response: