Biotechnology executive Una Ryan believes everyone has the right to healthcare, says Technology Review's Emily Singer. As head of the nonprofit foundation Diagnostics for All, Ryan's goal is to provide access to healthcare and diagnostics in poor countries. To that end, her foundation is developing paper diagnostics — "cheap, portable, easy-to-manufacture tests that can be used in environments with few resources and little infrastructure," Singer says. Beyond a new kind of diagnostic, Ryan is also developing a new kind of business model. Although Diagnostics for All has received grants and charitable funding, Ryan is aware that these forms of funding are may not be adequate over the long term, Singer says. Hence, Diagnostics for All created its for-profit subsidiary, Paper Diagnostics, which will partner with companies to develop and market the tests for use in developed countries and reinvest its sales proceeds into the nonprofit, Singer adds.
May 04, 2011