Sunday, January 4, 2009

NIH Seeks Tech to Reduce Disparities

Several Institutes and Centers within NIH released a Request for Application on December 18, 2008 for small business concerns to develop either new or existing medical technologies to use to reduce health disparities in communities. The technology must be low cost, must be amenable to the population’s cultural beliefs and social customs, and needs to be developed according to the specifications of the end user’s environment.

The agency is looking for:

  • Telehealth Technologies for remote diagnosis and monitoring
  • Sensors for point-of-care
  • Devices for in-home monitoring
  • Mobile portable diagnostic and therapeutic systems
  • Devices that integrate diagnosis and treatment
  • Diagnostics or treatments that do not require special training
  • Devices that can operate in low resource environments
  • Non invasive technologies for diagnosis and treatment
  • Integrated and automated systems to assess or monitor for a specific condition
  • The technology may be new and innovative or it can be existing technologies that have been redesigned based on the needs of a specific health disparity population. Both may be accepted.

Some examples are devices needed to improve early detection of diseases, low cost portable imaging for prevention and early detection of conditions, telemedicine technology to improve access to specialty care plus and be able to link up to academic tertiary oriented health centers, and inexpensive devices that diabetics can use to monitor blood sugar.

This funding opportunity uses the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR R4/R44) grant mechanism and all U.S. small business concerns are eligible. The estimated amount of funds to support this RFA is $3.45 million for FY 2009 with 7-12 projects anticipated. The earliest date that an application or letter of intent for this round of applications can be submitted to is January 20, 2009. The nearest application deadline is February 20, 2009.

There are specific directions to answering this announcement:

For more details on the complete announcement, go to The specific title for this RFA is “Development and Translation of Medical Technologies that Reduce Health Disparities (SBIR R43/R44)”.