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College of Social Sciences & Public Policy

College of Social Sciences & Public Policy

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Recent MPH Grad And Team Win Student Innovation Awards

The developers of InnoHealth Diagnostics presented their product to a panel of judges at the Jim Moran Building March 1. (FSU Photography Services)

A recent graduate of the Master of Public Health program is on a winning streak with innovations in health screening that he helped develop at FSU.

Clarens Jarbath is one of the developers of a new business model, InnoHealth Diagnostics, that uses DNA amplification and other advanced technology to safeguard and improve the health of individuals specifically suffering from the tropical disease schistosomiasis, or snail fever.

InnoHealth recently won a $10,000 grand prize at the annual FSU InNOLEvation® Challenge Business Model Competition in March 2019. The team also finished Top 5 competing against the best student entrepreneurial teams in the country at the 2019 ACC InVenture Prize competition on April 17 in Raleigh, N.C.

Schistosomiasis is blamed for causing more than 200,000 deaths a year. It’s estimated 260 million people have been infected worldwide. In Nigeria alone, 100 million people are at risk of infection, and 30 million are suffering from the disease. It is typically spread by contact with contaminated river water, and without treatment, snail fever can cause stomach ulcers, bladder cancer and other serious health problems.

The student creators of the InnoHealth venture hope their innovative technology will lower the rate of schistosomiasis to less than one percent in Kano State, Nigeria. The entrepreneurs plan to eventually market their product in other countries.

Jarbath was also the lead on a team that won Best in Show: Contribution at FSU’s DIGITECH event on April 10. Jarbath showcased his at-home screening device for sexually transmitted diseases and infections. The award, in the spirit of Mores, was presented to the exhibit best demonstrating strength of character by contributing to others.

“This is a project I’m very excited to share with the world,” said Jarbath, who’s been working on the device with faculty at the FSU College of Medicine. “I’m excited to bring it to the forefront after working on it in secret for so many years.”

He said it’s important that the university continue to provide opportunities for innovation.

“I think DIGITECH fosters great ingenuity,” Jarbath said. “A lot of these problems we experience now we weren’t experiencing before, so we need younger and newer minds to be nurtured and cultivated in order to come up with projects like these.”

Kara Irby and Dave Heller of University Communications contributed to this report.