OpenIDEO is an open innovation platform. Join our global community to solve big challenges for social good. Sign Up / Login or Learn more

Highlights & Criteria

After generative Research and Ideas phases, the OpenIDEO and USAID teams reviewed every submission using six key criteria. The ideas listed below showcase the power of our collaborative community, including ideas that are innovative, human centered, rapidly deployable, and may have real potential in the fight against Ebola.

Check out our stories of impact to learn more about how our community is continuing to activate around the Fighting Ebola Challenge. 1. FEASIBLE (Is the idea developed? Implementable? Does it address a need while being context-appropriate?)
2. PROTOTYPED (Is the idea visible? Is there a working-concept that shows demonstrated capacity for success?)
3. SCALABLE (Can this idea be adapted/replicated across other contexts?)
4. COLLABORATIVE (Does the idea involve multiple people? Did it demonstrate collaborative success on the platform?)
5. HUMAN-CENTERED (Is the idea born out of the context's reality? From the users' lens?)

6. INNOVATIVE (Does the idea blend originality and ingenuity to transform the current reality?)
Due to the short nature of this particular challenge there are no challenge winners, but instead strong beginnings that meet some, if not most of the key criteria listed above. Get inspired by our highlights, add your feedback and to continue to refine this great work.
  1. PPE Design Retrofit. Submitted by a member of the Chief Technology Office at Motorola Solutions Enterprise Mobility business (now Zebra Technologies), this idea redesigns the personal protective suit and creates innovate hacks to increase safe donning and doffing.
  2. Gloves Against Ebola. This idea rethinks the process for removing contaminated gloves to decrease inadvertent transmission. Using a mounted hook over a waste container, health care workers could remove gloves without using their hands and potentially exposing their skin.
  3. Desiccant Embedded PPE Suit. Can we embed personal protective equipment with desiccant packs to absorb sweat? Keeping health care workers dry might increase comfort or even extend the time in the suit.
  4. The AEROTARD. The community came together to refine a new personal protective suit that incorporates air-vents and a fan system to cool health care workers.
  5. UV for Health Worker Training. This idea proposes training tools for donning and doffing protocol using a UV visible-only, water-soluble compound such as CalcoFluor or GloGerm to assess whether health care workers are inadvertently contaminating themselves while putting on or taking off their clothing and performing tasks.
  6. UV for PPE. A low cost PPE gown that actively and continuously self-sterilizes using UV light..
  7. Instant Cold Packs for Cooling Health Workers. This idea suggests using instant cold packs to cool health workers wearing PPE. These instant cold packs employ endothermic reactions, which require no electricity or prior cooling.
  8. Evaporative Cooling. These vests offer a low-cost solution to creating cooler working environments for health care workers. The vests don't require external power sources or freezing – by simply dunking them in water and squeezing out the excess, the substance inside the vests reacts to create a cool surface on the body.
  9. Seated Ring and Hook Removal. Low-cost doffing protocol that uses hooks attached to a wall and rings attached to the PPE suit, allowing a hands-free doffing approach.
  10. Tracking Ebola with your Smartphone. The Novarum Smartphone Reader solution enables more accurate, cost-effective and efficient point-of-care testing for Ebola with a smartphone. The Novarum app would allow for storing, sharing and tracking of test results, building a geographical map to trace, test and mitigate the risk of Ebola spread.
  11. SMS to Fight Ebola. This idea showcases a software program that helps doctors communicate with patients, providing real-time information on outbreaks and resource allotment to administrators.
  12. Lifeline. SMSanté is a robust way of putting Ebola data in the hands of those who need it most. With SMSanté, Ebola information for any African village, town, or city is just an SMS away, making travel plans, visiting loved ones and epidemic mapping more feasible.
  13. Patient-Centric GIS App to Support Healthcare. This idea showcases a website and app developed by, connecting patients, caregivers and communities. The system focuses on real-time bed and facility availability, hotline numbers, testimonials from those who have survived the disease and provides a discussion forum.
  14. Sahana: Integrated Information Platform. The Sahana Open Source Disaster Management Web Application provides solutions to a wide range of information management, tracking and communication challenges. It includes modules for patient contact tracing and monitoring, logistics, donation, hospital and health facility management.
  15. Socio-Metric Badges for Monitoring and Tracing. This idea proposes the use of Socio-Metric (SM) badges (plastic cards with an embedded microchip and RFID transceiver) that would be hung around the neck or pinned to outer clothing to track proximal contacts between groups and social network members. This technology would assist in contact tracing.
  16. mTrac/UNICEF: Mobile-Based Case on Monitoring in Uganda. mTrac is a government-led initiative to digitize the transfer of Health Management Information System (HMIS) data via mobile phones.
  17. Ebola Information on Sachet Water Bags. This idea leverages existing distribution channels by proposing the addition of Ebola care information to water sachets (water bags) that would be distributed by organizations. The tactic would deliver community education in a low cost, easy to produce and implementable way.
  18. Knowmore LIB: Building Resilience and Defeating Ebola through Civic Education. The Knowmore LIB campaign uses innovative tools such as chalk billboards, question boxes and radio shows to help Liberians engage with policymakers and public health officials.
  19. Silencing Ebola. This idea proposes a voice-based mobile engagement tool to set-up an Ebola infoline and provide valuable information to people in the entire region.This group is currently planning to implement this approach in Ghana with UNICEF and the Ghanaian Ministry of Health.
  20. Strengthening Training by Creating Digital Simulations to Supplement WHO Training Materials. This idea proposes a training system for health workers that leverages best practices in medical simulation as well as serious games, incorporating architectural plans of the Ebola Treatment Units, photos and responder insights.
  21. Portable Soft-Walled Shelters with AsepticSure Technology. This idea proposes a portable soft-walled shelter with AsepticSure technology to be used as temporary treatment and quarantine facilities for Ebola victims.  
  22. Boost Health Worker Recruitment. Sheldon Allen, Ghana-based health communication and behavior design specialist, built off of other ideas on the platform to create a framework for increasing healthcare worker recruitment.
  23. Personal Portable Toilet. This idea proposes a foldable cardboard toilet seat that contains a plastic bag to mitigate the spread of infectious waste. The method is inexpensive to produce and easy to dispose of through incineration.
  24. Opening Taps with Feet. This idea proposes foot-activating water taps to help eliminate high contact area exposure for health care workers when rinsing and washing.
  25. Hygienic, Portable Rural Toilet System. This idea suggests a low-cost toilet system where inhabitants would carry their own disposable toilet sacks and toilet-paper sanitized hand wipes in backpacks, using them "around town" in pre-placed private booths and "restrooms" with metal support structure "seats" to hang the sacks on.
  26. Retrofit Packaged Goods with Prevention Kits. This idea proposes retrofitting pre-packaged goods that are already sold in marketplaces to carry basic hygiene and sanitary kits.
  27. Superhero Briefcase for Care Workers. The Superhero Briefcase seeks to support and enable care, providing tools to protect the individual and their family, as well as resources to understand the current healthcare systems and Ebola treatments.
  28. IDEO Ebola Community Action Room. This idea has taken OpenIDEO platform submissions and generated a web-based, interactive community complete with cross-continental Skype conversations to continue iteration, interactive collaboration and feedback.

As a global community, we can make a difference in the fight against Ebola. We encourage you to continue this work off of the platform, turning ideas into reality. Start with our list of Pathway Options and share your stories in our Impact phase.