Get Involved

Global Health Initiative

The Global Health Initiative seeks to coalesce research, applications, government and industry to develop and provide life-saving solutions worldwide


Watch Optica's Global Health Initiative webinar that took place 13 April 2021.



The Optica Global Health Initiative (GHI)

A time for leadership

The COVID-19 pandemic illustrated the tragic impact that new infectious diseases can have on human life and the global economy. Optics and photonics technologies play a crucial role  in the instruments currently used to screen, diagnose, treat and reduce the spread of the SARS-CoV 2 virus.

The spread of the COVID-19 virus starkly demonstrated the lack of instrumentation necessary to mount a global coordinated effort to monitor and track new infectious agents, such as low-cost, general-purpose surveillance monitoring of symptomatic and asymptomatic infected individuals, methods for disinfecting contaminated personal protection equipment (PPE) and monitoring disease progression in infected individuals.

Advances in optics and photonics devices are critically needed to address the emergence of infectious agents and other global health threats. The Global Health Initiative seeks to utilize the successful approach used for the GEMM Initiative to coalesce research, applications, government and industry to develop and provide life-saving solutions worldwide.

Help us save lives today

The GHI is an activity providing support for INDIA COVID SOS, a volunteer group of scientists, clinicians, engineers, policy-makers and epidemiologists from the global community engaged in supporting the fight against COVID-19 in India. Our efforts include the purchase and distribution of pulse oximeters. Your financial gift WILL make a difference.

All donations for the pulse oximeter program should be directed to the Optica Foundation.

We've just begun

Our work is in its early phase, and we are calling on the entire community to share their thoughts, time, and resources as we chart our future course. We invite you to join our strategic discussions and to participate as new efforts are launched to help people in need around the world.

Successful pilot effort

In 2020, Stanford University and the Optica Foundation led a global health project to address the scarcity of PPE — and particularly N95 masks — and developed UV-C decontamination chambers that could be assembled with low-cost commercially available components and decontaminate several thousand masks per day in regions with limited resources. In partnership with Lifebox and the Optica Foundation, the team recruited and trained Optica student chapters worldwide to build decontamination chambers to spec and work with local hospitals to install and use them safely. As of January 2021, 30 grants were distributed to  student chapters in countries such as Brazil, Ethiopia, India, Mexico and Ghana.