American innovations that improve the health of all people on earth can come from anywhere, even from sending people to outer space.
NASA developed a water-filter system devised for the space shuttle that kills bacteria using iodine resin. Now that system is being used to purify water in some of the poorest countries in the world, saving countless families from debilitating diseases.
A California company developed a coffee maker-sized machine for the US Postal Service to test packages for anthrax. In the next few months, scores of these machines will be used in developing countries in Africa to test for tuberculosis, and give results in two hours instead of three months.