Health, wellbeing and community innovations for a better planet

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Spotlighting impactful studies and solutions from SRI International this World Health Day

For over 75 years, SRI International has developed innovations that make people and communities safer, healthier and more productive. This World Health Day, SRI is spotlighting some of the impactful and groundbreaking solutions that focus on health and wellbeing, education, climate change and renewable energy.

The Covid-19 pandemic has profoundly impacted global communities. In the two years since it began, SRI has produced studies, data and next-generation technologies to address impacts across individuals and communities.

The lasting impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic

The true physical — and mental — impacts of the pandemic are still unknown. Social isolation, loss and disruption to daily life points to long-lasting health and wellbeing affects. SRI has conducted several studies on Covid-19’s impact on sleepmental healthdepression and young adult education. These studies offer education, data and recommendations not only magnify the pandemic’s global impact, but also address what could be done to help people and communities.

Individual and community wellbeing

For the past 20 years, SRI has had a Human Sleep Research Program populated by scientists dedicated to understanding this important aspect of our daily lives. The sleep research carried out at SRI includes ground-breaking studies about developmental changes in sleep and the brain across adolescence; the role of hot flashes and hormones in sleep disturbances in midlife women; sleep disturbances in alcohol use disorder and the pathophysiology of insomnia.

In New Mexico, SRI has been contracted by the state Economic Development Department under the CARES Act grant to develop a 20-year comprehensive economic development strategy to address short- and long-term strategies for economic recovery and diversification.

Strategies will include goals and objectives for each region of the state in New Mexico’s target industries of outdoor recreation; agriculture; global trade; advanced manufacturing; bioscience; film and television; cybersecurity; aerospace; and renewable energy.

A focus on bettering the planet: energy and climate

SRI is committed to helping the world meet its energy and community needs in innovative ways. As global industrialization accelerates, it is clear that there will be an increasing need for energy, education and similar resources.

The institute recently received a three-year, $4.2 million award for the SHARKS program, which supports the development of cost-competitive hydrokinetic turbines that generate electricity from ocean tides and river currents and can be deployed near local communities.

The Manta underwater kite system seeks to be cost-competitive with all forms of energy while being environmentally, community and business-friendly in its application. Manta seeks to provide a flexible, low-impact solution that local communities can easily maintain and is safe for both human activities and wildlife and compliments existing energy structures.

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To help deliver CO2 emissions reductions needed to meet global 2050 climate and net-zero emissions targets, Baker Hughes is exclusively licensing SRI’s Mixed Salt Process for carbon capture to remove CO2 from power plant exhaust gas. The institute has received support from the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Fossil Energy (FE) and National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL) in developing its Mixed Salt Process (MSP) technology for carbon capture.

In 2024, the creation of the MSP demonstration plant will aim to test the process with real-world flue gas for long time periods, while demonstrating the process’ efficiencies and gathering information for a techno-economic analysis.

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Improving medical outcomes and drug development

SRI Biosciences has a long and lasting impact on the medical world, including novel advances in healthcare, medicine and therapeutics.

The institute’s vast knowledge of health and medicine has been put to the test with the Covid-19 pandemic. Working with institutes, universities and government bodies, SRI has pooled resources to find pathways for all through the pandemic and has developed existing bioscience platforms to perform rapid testing for SARS‐CoV‐2 infection that helps in fast, mass testing situations. The institute is currently working on the development of a handheld device for immediate detection of the coronavirus.

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SRI’s help during and after the pandemic

SRI Venture spinouts, such as Lisa Health and Decoded Health offer digital resources to monitor and manage an individual’s health. To help with the Covid-19 demand surge on healthcare, Decoded Health launched a telehealth app to that uses explainable artificial intelligence technology to automate patient communication, and generate real-time, personalized, clinical recommendations for providers.

Lisa Health is transforming menopause and midlife women’s health using the power of technology fused with evidence-based medicine and community. They provide data-driven, science-backed insights and therapeutics to support women across their 30-year midlife journey and empower them to thrive.

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In the education space, for adolescents and young adults, the true toll of Covid-19 will be observed for years. SRI Education has released several publications and studies on these impacts. Most recently, a study identifying strategies to support STEM students during the pandemic was highlighted. Other important studies around pandemic learning include: How the pandemic is affecting English learnersEarly childhood throughout the Covid-19 pandemic: the experiences of Arkansas educatorsSupporting students experiencing trauma during the Covid-19 pandemic; and more, found at

Visit to learn more about the impactful work done to improve both individuals and communities globally.

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