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Health Innovation Exchange Annual Event 2020: Building the future of global health through innovation

The COVID-19 pandemic has quickly changed the world around us and the ways we work. The on going pandemic has also made us realize, perhaps more than ever, the crucial importance of ensuring our health systems are strong and that countries have the necessary technologies and capacities to respond to health challenges. As the world stands up to the COVID-19 pandemic, we are also seeing an unprecedented wave of fast-paced innovation from both public and private sectors, as the world stands up to fight this epidemic.

Since its launch, the Health Innovation Exchange (HIEx) has matured into a multi-layered platform that acts as a neutral facilitator and broker of innovative solutions for health, particularly in the Global South. HIEx has been working with countries on analysis of health priorities and needs, curating tailored health innovations solutions to match the needs and brokering investments to ensure scale and sustainability of their implementation.The primary objective of the HIEx is to bridge innovators and innovations from around the world to health actors in order to solve healthcare pain-points and leverage investments to scale these innovative solutions.

This year, the 2020 Health Innovation Exchange annual event wentfully virtual. The 2-day event (July 1-2, 2020) showcaseprogress through the HIEx since its launch and brought together leaders in innovation, health and sustainable energy from around the world, representing governments, international organizations and bodies, investors, communities, the academia and private sector companies to: 

1. Explore the needs for further investments in innovations for health,

2. As well as facilitatfurther engagement of countries, innovators and investors for implementation of innovations in countries to accelerate progress towards SDG3.

The HIEx and its global partners called upon innovators from around the world to share their cutting-edge innovations in the areas of digital health platforms, financial innovations, innovations for the last mile and community innovations – particularly innovations that have high potential for scaling and creating impact for SDG 3 or towards the COVID-19 outbreak, particularly in resource limited settings. Partnering with UNICEF, the HIEx also released a call for proposals on digital health solutions for young people that provide safe space for interaction with peers and experts on HIV and sexual and reproductive health (e.g. HIV prevention, HIV and AIDS treatment and care, HIV-related stigma and discrimination, sexual and reproductive health). With over 200+ applications from 50+ countries, all applications were subject to the HIEx criteria, including a solid rights base, potential for impact, readiness for scaling, sustainability and innovativeness.

This year’s Health Innovation Marketplace showcasea variety of innovations ranging from health diagnostic solutions to AI powered health platforms to social programs focused on transforming delivery models for primary care services in rural areas and many more. These solutions respond to some of the most critical challenges facedby countries and communities, particularly in the global South,as they strive towards the SDG3 targetsand address the COVID-19 response. To learn more in specific about the group of innovations that were selected for the HIEx 2020 global event, please visit the following page: HIEx 2020 Innovations.




At the heart of the virtual event, the selected group of 25 innovations was part of an Innovation Marketplace consisting of virtual booths, allowing visitors from around the world to explore the innovations in more depth and interact with the innovators behind the solution. The virtual event platform hosted a series of exciting live sessions, innovation pitching sessions, launch of the COVID-19 Innovation Report and an awards ceremony to identify key leading innovations alongside the virtual innovation marketplace. Visitors were also given the opportunity to choose their favorite innovation by voting for the respective virtual booth on the Innovation Marketplace space, with the winner being recognized as the public favorite (winner shared below).



StartupBlink & HIEx – COVID-19 Innovation Report