The Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) and the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) are set to fund 15 projects focused on developing new health technologies in the UK.
These projects aim to address international health challenges, including prevention of limb loss, as well as the diagnosis and treatment of parasitic diseases such as malaria.
The combined £16m grant will be provided through the Global Challenges Research Fund (GCRF) and the NIHR Global Health Research programme.
EPSRC chief executive professor Philip Nelson said: “Responding to healthcare challenges in low and middle-income countries can require the development of innovative new approaches.
Key factors include affordability, portability, and the requirement for point-of-care operation in often remote locations.
“The projects announced today ensure that these necessities are incorporated into healthcare solutions that have the potential to transform many lives.”
The projects will include the creation of affordable and reliable imaging, diagnostics, and monitoring tools for infectious as well as non-contagious conditions. The developed technologies would be portable and easy-to-use.
Inexpensive prosthetics and orthotics with integrated technology and functionality will also be developed for use in low or middle-income countries.
The University of Manchester will devise 3D-printable and implantable treatments for the prevention of infection and to promote bone regeneration in Syrian refugees with major bone loss injuries.
Researchers at Cranfield University will develop, prototype, and test freehand ultrasound scanning devices for remote areas, while those at Imperial College London want to create prostheses for through-knee amputees.
The University of Glasgow scientists will aim to design and manufacture paper-based DNA diagnostic tests with imaging technology that can be used on mobiles for point-of-care assessment of parasitic diseases in remote locations.