credit: Texas Medical CenterIn this virtual reality experience that was unveiled at Super Bowl Live, Sharmila Anandasabapathy, M.D., director of Baylor Global Health and Baylor's Global Innovation Center, takes viewers on a tour of the portable field hospital.

The Baylor Global Innovation Center, directed by Dr. Sharmila Anandasabapathy, is a hub for collaborative research efforts that involve the development, validation, and commercialization of technology to ultimately improve health care delivery and population health, with specific emphasis on low-resource and/or medically-underserved areas. The technology developed in the center includes class I and II diagnostic devices, as well as development of novel telehealth platforms utilizing applications for mobile phones and tablets. The center will also support quality and process improvement research involving health informatics, an area that has complementary scientific and programmatic overlap with device and telehealth development.

These studies rely heavily on initial community- and population-based health studies and needs assessments that provide the initial framework for the focus of the subsequent research and development efforts. These assessments and studies can originate from a variety of sources, such as non-profit institutions, state governments, federal governments, and the World Health Organization. When community- and population-based data is not available for a specific areas or populations, the Global Innovation Center will also conduct or support these types of studies to fill knowledge gaps and provide vital focus to our research efforts. 

Disease Focus

Chronic, non-communicable diseases present a significant global health burden, and a disproportionate one as well. The World Health organization (WHO) reports that cardiovascular diseases (CVDs) are the number one cause of death globally; more people die annually from CVDs than from any other cause [1]. Low- and middle-income countries are disproportionally affected, representing more than 80 percent of all CVD deaths.

Cancers (primarily lung, liver, stomach, colorectal, and breast) figure among the leading causes of death worldwide, accounting for 8.2 million deaths in 2012. More than 60 percent of world’s total new annual cases of cancer occur in Africa, Asia and Central and South America; these regions account for 70 percent of the world’s cancer deaths. Both CVDs and many cancers share common behavioral and dietary risk factors and, like most diseases, they are most effectively and affordably treated when detected early. The disease focus of the research efforts at Baylor's Global Innovation Center are on chronic, non-communicable diseases, such as heart disease, diabetes, and cancer. This focus complements the noteworthy international programs elsewhere at Baylor that have traditionally focused on infectious diseases (HIV), tropical diseases, and neglected diseases of poverty (malaria, malnutrition, parasites).

[1] Globocan 2012, Estimated Cancer Incidence, Mortality, and Prevalence Worldwide in 2012. WHO, IARC