Our Great Opportunity to Transform Lives

How do we make the world a better place?

Just the enormity of that statement may deter any one person from acting because the task, on the surface, seems so daunting. We’re battling poverty, hunger, environmental issues and the list goes on. But as with any huge project, it is important to start small. To take a step back and understand the root of what you’re trying to accomplish, how you are going to tackle it, and what tools and resources you’re going to use to get there.

Working together to achieve a better future

The UN has identified their Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), their blueprint for achieving a better future for us all.

In total, we are looking at 17 goals that if achieved, will help address the global challenges we face as a society. From inequality, to environmental degradation to peace and justice. But how are we going to accomplish all of this? Because it’s not enough to state our goals, we need to make progress in achieving them. With something so grand in scale as changing the world, the initial reaction for most is to throw some money at the problem. But money is not always the answer. In fact, research has found that as we make more money and as areas around the world get richer, though social progress improves, it only does so up to a certain point. After that, each dollar is buying less and less social progress. We know all too well that wealth, unfortunately, does not equally distribute in developing areas. Income inequality has the potential to increase – often creating more harm than good.

In short, economic prosperity does not equal Social Progress. But why is this happening? And what can we do to help? Dell Technologies see a correlation between technology access and the achievement of social development goals. In fact, it’s believed that for 65% of the SDGs, there is a positive correlation with digital access at the entry level of analysis across the world. The strongest link is found between Social SDGs that improve quality of life and Economic SDGs that foster equitable growth. We believe that if a community is given access to technology, can include technology as a resource within their community, and can then innovate using that technology, they have a higher likelihood of achieving true social progress.

Powering India’s rural healthcare revolution with Digital LifeCare solutions.

Consider access to healthcare. People of all age groups, regions, and countries are affected by noncommunicable diseases. Each year, 15 million people die from an NCD between the ages of 30 and 69 years. Over 85% of these often-preventable deaths occur in low-and middle-income countries. The key to battling NCDs? Detection, screening, and access to treatment.

In India alone, nearly two thirds of their 1.3B citizens live in rural areas. What if we could deliver preventative healthcare screenings to over 800 million people – diagnosing completely treatable conditions like high blood pressure or diabetes. We could then provide the right treatment that prevents those conditions from causing larger health problems.

That’s what we’ve done with our Digital LifeCare solutions. Together, with India’s Ministry of Health and Family Welfare and our customer Tata Trusts, we’ve developed a cloud-based mobile app that harnesses the full power of the Dell Technologies portfolio to deliver a game-changing solution. With our Digital LifeCare solutions, we are serving an initial target population of nearly 37 million people over the age of 30.

Finding new hope for rare childhood diseases with TGen

If we can provide communities with the access to technology and in turn create technology as a resource – we are then in the perfect position to create an engine of innovation for the benefit of the broader society. Take for example, our work with pediatric cancer. TGen is a leader in sequencing the human genome and developing personalized treatments for patients.

Dr. Jeffrey Trent, who pioneered the 1st Human Genome sequencing Project, approached Dell about an idea to combine the work he was doing with our technology and apply it to a very rare form of pediatric cancer.  From the start, we both saw where the future of healthcare was going and the role that technology and Big Data would play. Since those initial conversations, we’ve created a solution that dramatically reduces the time it takes to perform genome sequencing analysis, from weeks to hours, and it has been a game-changer for the children and families. Now, doctors can quickly identify treatments specifically designed for each child. And we’re seeing that precision medicine is 2X to 3X more effective than alternative methods. And we know that ~70% of relapsed and refractory pediatric cancer patients see clinical benefit from genomics-guided therapy.

This is an immeasurable benefit to patients and their families who previously had to suffer the emotional turmoil of no diagnosis, or what can be the harsh side effects of ineffective drugs when there is a misdiagnosis. Our work with TGen is now expanding to other pediatric cancers and rare childhood diseases. And we are proud to share that more than 275 children with cancer, their families, and their communities have been touched by our work in four precision medicine clinical trials

Jeremy Ford

About the Author: Jeremy Ford

Jeremy Ford was previously the Vice President of Global Giving and Social Innovation for Dell Technologies.