Health Technology: Low-Resource Solutions
Hi again Delegates,
Today we have a few (fun!) resources to share along with some hopefully insightful information on The Development of Global Health Technology.
As brought up in Topic A's Background Guide, one of the major stumbling blocks in getting Western health technology to non-Western communities has been the environmental conditions of these communities. If equipment is created in and for a Western environment (reliable electricity, air conditioning, etc.) it very often has problems in areas without such amenities.
One solution to this issue is to build up the non-health-related infrastructure of these areas, but this isn't the direct purpose of the CSTD (indeed, infrastructure creation on a grand scale is a grand challenge). A better, alternate solution may be to instead develop technology specifically for low-resource areas. Here are two great sites to learn about how individuals and organizations are working right now to accomplish this goal.
The Call for Innovative Technologies
The World Health Organization (WHO) has realized that a great solution to this issue is to pursue technologies developed specifically for such trying environments. The WHO website has a list of innovative technologies (Note: It has a second page, click the "3" at the bottom of the list). Feel free to browse through the different products, all of which are still in development but are very promising. As a disclaimer, I've had problems viewing the .pdf files for the products in my web browser, so you may need to download the files (Right Click -> "Save link as") and then view them on your own computer.
Innovations in International Health
To quote their main page: "Based at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, IIH's mission is to accelerate the development of appropriate and affordable health technologies by facilitating collaboration between researchers, users and health practitioners around the world." Perfect! Their blog has many older posts, all of which containing interesting technological ideas and first-hand experience of the difficulties and solutions of bringing healthcare to under-developed communities.
So as you go forward with your research, perhaps some of the specifics on these sites will inspire you. After all, these emerging technologies are nothing unless we can figure out how to both encourage research and development (R&D) and deliver the finished product efficiently and effectively.
On an unrelated note, there are less then 50 days till the conference!
Excited as always,