The Partnership for Global Health Technologies was created to allow for a continuous cycle of development, product testing and modification through its multi-year design. Students will have a comprehensive experience participating in the life cycle of a medical technology, from the inception of early designs through to field testing a device. Each year, new student participants will continue the project where past participants have left off, overlapping with those already in the program to preserve the continuity of the project.

In the Lab

Fall & Spring Semesters at Boston University
Development of Devices: Design and Engineering in the Zaman Lab
  • Diagnostic to monitor complications resulting from pre-eclampsia
  • To develop a simple and affordable point of care diagnostic that tests for impaired renal and liver function in women with pre-eclampsia
Quality Control Protocol for Rapid Diagnostic Tests (RDT)
  • To evaluate the quality of rapid diagnostic tests currently on the market that are exposed to a variety of environmental conditions while being stored, transported and used in the field

Public Health
  • To provide cultural, societal, regulatory, political and logistical context for the local health challenge being addressed
  • To increase device adoption through applying public health theory and user experience feedback throughout the design process
Math Modeling
  • To use system dynamics modeling approach to model healthcare delivery systems and access to care as a means of predicting maternal health outcomes in low-income countries
Financing and Scale-up
  • To determine the best financial model and market placement for the growth and expansion of the device
  • To lead device validation, regulatory and field testing efforts

Summer Program

On the State University of Zanzibar campus

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Summer 2015: Needs assessment completed
  • Identified a pressing maternal health challenge facing healthcare facilities in Zanzibar
  • Identified the technological gaps in addressing identified maternal health issue
  • Assessed the local healthcare landscape and determined resources available
Summer 2016:
  • Diagnostic prototype completed and tested in the field
  • Results of mathematical model shared with the local policy stake holders to improve access along with collection of data to improve model performance

Back to BU

Returning to the lab for the Fall Semester

Throughout the fall and spring semesters, BU students will telecommunicate with their international counterparts on design decisions and project progress. Then, for six weeks over the summer, selected students will travel abroad to field test the device and meet with local medical staff and biotechnology regulators. These students will return to the lab in the fall semester, armed with what they learned abroad and prepared to make further improvements to the device.

Please note – while the lab component of the program is required for those planning to travel abroad, students only interested in the lab portion of the program do not need to travel abroad over the summer.

Discover more about our team and its extraordinary work


Learn about the varied motivations of students in the program.

Go to their profiles ›


Listen to a student’s perspective on the program.

Watch the videos ›


Explore the challenges of treating health conditions plaguing Zanzibari mothers and infants.

Read publications and reports ›