When clinicians follow best practices in the administration of oxytocin and magnesium sulfate, they can prevent postpartum hemorrhage, preeclampsia, and eclampsia — the leading causes of pregnancy-related deaths. The Seattle-based Shift Labs, Inc. developed the DripAssist Infusion Rate Monitor to administer these medications during labor. The tool was designed for — and in consultation with — women in low resources settings who are disproportionately affected by these conditions due to gaps in infrastructure, trained clinicians, and medical supply chains.

Shift Labs is one of the Round 7 Innovators for Saving Lives at Birth, or SL@B, the first of a series of Grand Challenges for Development that the United States Agency for International Development has launched together with public and private partners in order to source, test, iterate, and scale global health and international development innovations.

The initiative is currently seeking innovators to answer their eighth call for new prevention and treatment approaches for pregnant women and newborns in poor and marginalized communities. But they are also increasing their investment in the innovators they have supported over the past seven years, with two new awards totaling $13 million to evaluate and scale up maternal and newborn health innovations.

This investment in Accelerating SL@B aims to benefit not only the innovators, but also the broader global health community. It is one of a growing number of efforts to reduce the barriers to scaling in low resource settings. And the Accelerating SL@B partners plan to learn as they implement and share those insights with practitioners, funders, policymakers, and academics.

Read the full article about maternal and newborn health innovation by Catherine Cheney at Devex.