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Five Innovations From 2018 That Make Life Better On Our Planet

The year is winding down and the New Year’s Eve ball is almost ready to drop in Times Square. Now is the perfect time to consider what made the world better in 2018. Below are the top five innovations that made our list. Each represents a step forward in making life better on our planet.

A Smartwatch That Predicts Epileptic Seizures

People who struggle with epilepsy never know if their lives are going to be disrupted by their next seizure. For them, a new smartwatch that was granted FDA approval in 2018 might be a game changer. It can detect subtle changes in wearer’s body chemistry that means a seizure is imminent. When triggered, the device automatically calls the wearer’s caregiver.

Genetically Modified Mosquitoes That Could End Malaria

In 2018, scientists began working to end malaria by genetically modifying mosquitos. In years to come, the innovation could save hundreds of thousands of lives. Because of the potential for a high amount of human impact, the effort has serious financial backing. Support includes a 4.1 million dollar investment from the Gates Foundation.

US Hospitals Are Working Together To Fight High Drug Costs

For years, the rising high cost of prescription drugs has negatively impacted medical patients and their families. Some hospitals have had enough. In an effort to put patient care first, they have created a new drug company, called Civica Rx, aimed at reducing patient costs for prescriptions. To date, about a third of US hospitals have joined or expressed interest.

Healthcare Workers Upgrade A Tool That Fights World Malnutrition

Around the world, malnutrition has been measured using a simple armband. Because of how the tool was designed, once diagnosed, children needed to travel to a healthcare center for treatment. In 2018, the International Rescue Committee completed research on improvements to the armband so children could be helped closer to where they lived. The new tool is promising. Initial trials showed increases to the number of children who were helped.

Better Data To Help Refugees

The first step to solving any problem – including the world’s refugee crisis – is to understand it. In 2018, the United Nations Refugee Agency and the World Bank Group created the Joint Data Center on Forced Displacement. The undertaking is focused on using data to understand refugees so that communities they are going to can better support them after arrival.

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