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This Tiny Patch Could Be a Game Changer for Global Health

Image credit: Kite Patch

Kite Patch is the latest breakthrough technology in the global fight against malaria and other mosquito-borne diseases. A non-toxic adhesive patch that makes you virtually invisible to mosquitos, Kite brings a scalable solution to protect the world’s most vulnerable populations.

According to the World Health Organization, malaria caused an estimated 660,000 deaths in 2010, mostly among African children, with the disease now claiming a young life every minute in Africa. The urgency for a solution heightens when additional risks, such as West Nile Virus or Dengue Fever, are brought into the equation, alongside the economic costs of prevention and treatment.

Kite Patch offers a scalable solution for protection against mosquitos, most importantly in developing countries where highly toxic sprays and lotions or preventative bed nets are the primary options. With one patch lasting roughly 48 hours, Kite introduces a new sense of freedom and mobile defense for outdoor activity by simply sticking to the wearer’s clothes. The patch contains non-toxic compounds, approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for human consumption, that create an invisible shield and block mosquitoes’ ability to detect CO2 — their primary attraction to us.

Behind Kite Patch is ieCrowd (Innovation Economy Crowd), a California-based open source platform and incubator that identifies and nurtures new innovations with high-impact potential for solving complex global challenges. Upon acquiring Kite Patch’s initial technology, which was originally funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and the National Institutes of Health (NIH), ieCrowd company Olfactor Laboratories Inc. (OLI) progressed through a seven-year research and development phase.

Described by Dr. Michelle Brown, Chief Scientist and Vice President of OLI, “This isn’t just another mosquito product, but a powerful alternative to most products on the market, enabling people to live normal lives with a new level of protection against contracting mosquito-borne diseases.”

Kite’s benefits have indeed appealed to a broader public, from outdoor enthusiasts to camping families and professional athletes, who have gotten behind this product in a big way. Having ‘launched’ just under two months ago, Kite Patch has generated a massive following who wants to see this product come to life.

Over 11,000 people participated in Kite Patch’s Indiegogo campaign, which ended September 29th. In six weeks the campaign achieved massive success, meeting its initial goal of $75,000 within the first four days, and ended pushing well past its third stretch goal of $400,000. The outpouring of support catapulted Kite to the #1 most popular campaign on Indiegogo for four of its six weeks on the platform.

The impressive total funds raised of $557,254 will enable production of the first round of almost 100,000 Kite Patches for an extensive Field Test across the three districts in Uganda hit hardest by malaria. In partnership with Pilgrim Africa, ieCrowd will provide over 4,000,000 hours of mosquito protection during the upcoming six-month testing period.

There will be over 140,000 Kite Patches used in the Uganda tests, set to start at the end of January 2014, and that's 6.7 million hours of testing. Upon completion, data gathered will inform the final design and manufacturing process, with the first batch of Kite Patches available to its U.S. backers in a year’s time.

 Does your start-up have a sustainable solution that could help make a difference? Enter the SB Innovation Open London! Accepting entries through September 29.

Stacy Anderson is a creative business professional with extensive experience in the planning, design and implementation of business and marketing strategies and branding plans for companies in Canada, the United Kingdom and Europe. She has worked across a variety of… [Read more about Stacy Anderson]

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