Medical Devices and Information Communication Technologies for the Base of the Pyramid
Providing adequate access to medical care in developing countries is a systemic and complex issue, driven by numerous challenges ranging from issues in delivery of care to broader development issues. One key issue is the lack of appropriate, low-cost devices to diagnose and treat what are often easily addressed medical conditions. The last decade has seen the development of numerous low-cost medical devices and the application of information and communication technologies. A limited number of projects, however, manage to pass the pilot testing stage and go on to achieve impact at scale. The reasons for this are multifaceted. In this paper, we discuss challenges presented by medical device markets and challenges in the development of these technologies. We argue that multidisciplinary dialogue and public–private partnerships are the essential factors that lead to the integrity and success of low-cost health systems in small and fragmented markets.
KeywordsMedical Device Social Entrepreneur Information Communication Technology Open Data Model Mobile Phone Camera
- Beratarrechea, A., Kanter, R., Diez-Canseco, F., Fernandez, A., Ramirez-Zea, M., Miranda, J., et al. (2015). Challenges of implementing mHealth interventions for lifestyle modification in prehypertensive subjects in Guatemala, Peru, and Argentina. In S. Hostettler, E. Hazboun, & J.-C. Bolay (Eds.), Technologies for development: What is essential? Paris, Heidelberg, New York, Dordrecht, London: Springer.Google Scholar
- Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation [BMGF] (2013). Cold chain equipment market landscape. http://www.unicef.org/supply/files/Cold_Chain_Equipment_Market_Landscape_BMGF.pdf. Accessed 7 January 2015.
- Densmore, M. (2012). Claim mobile: When to fail a technology. In Proceedings of the 2012 ACM Annual Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems - CHI ’12 (pp. 1833–42).Google Scholar
- Ettinger, K. M. (2015). Open issues and a proposal for open-source data monitoring to assure quality, reliability, and safety in health care devices targeting low- and middle-income countries. In S. Hostettler, E. Hazboun & J.-C. Bolay (Eds.), Technologies for development: What is essential? Paris, Heidelberg, New York, Dordrecht, London: Springer.Google Scholar
- Gavi (2013). Cold chain equipment—Future direction under the supply chain strategy framework. Copenhagen: Denmark. http://www.unicef.org/supply/files/CC_equipment_-_Future_directions_GAVI.pdf. Accessed 7 January 2015.
- Karlen, W., Dumont, G. A., Petersen, C., Gow, J., Lim, J., Sleiman, J., & Ansermino, J. M. (2011). Human-centered phone oximeter interface design for the operating room. In V. Traver et al. (Eds.), Proceedings of the International Conference on Health Informatics. Rome, Italy. http://www.phoneoximeter.org/uploads/media/Karlen-etal.-2011-Human-centeredPhoneOximeterInterfaceDesign.pdf. Accessed 7 January 2015.
- Leeds, N., Singhal, R., Paul, J., & Annaswamy, A. (2015). Ecosystem solution to screen, and treat patients with chronic infections and hearing loss in emerging markets. In S. Hostettler, E. Hazboun, & J.-C. Bolay (Eds.), Technologies for development: What is essential? Paris, Heidelberg, New York, Dordrecht, London: Springer.Google Scholar
- Little, A., Medhanyie, A., Yebyo, H., Spigt, M., Dinant, G.-J., & Blanco, R. (2013). Meeting community health worker needs for maternal health care service delivery using appropriate mobile technologies in Ethiopia. PLoS One, 8(10), e77563.Google Scholar
- Payne, B., Dunsmuir, D., Cloete, G., Dumont, G., Hall, D., Lim, J., et al. (2014). PIERS (Pre-eclampsia Integrated Estimate of RiSk) on the move—development and evaluation of a mobile clinical decision aid for use in women with a hypertensive disorder of pregnancy. In Abstracts of 2014 EPFL-UNESCO Conference on Technologies for Development, p. 162. http://cooperation.epfl.ch/2014Tech4Dev. Accessed 7 January 2015.
- Philbrick, W. C. (2013). mHealth and MNCH: State of the evidence. Trends, gaps, stakeholder needs, and opportunities for future research on the use of mobile technology to improve maternal, newborn and child health. mHealth Alliance, UN Foundation. http://www.gfmer.ch/mhealth/coursefiles2013/mhealthmnch-evidence-final.pdf. Accessed 7 January 2015.
- Strachan, D. L., Källander, K., Ten Asbroek, A. H., Kirkwood, B., Meek, S. R., Benton, L., et al. (2012). Interventions to improve motivation and retention of community health workers delivering integrated community case management (iCCM): Stakeholder perceptions and priorities. American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygeine, 87(5 Suppl.), 111–119.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Stroux, L., & Clifford, G. D. (2014). The importance of biomedical signal quality classification for successful mHealth implementation. In Abstracts of the 2014 EPFL-UNESCO Conference on Technologies for Development, p. 128. http://cooperation.epfl.ch/2014Tech4Dev. Accessed 7 January 2015.
- World Health Organization [WHO]. (2011). New horizons for health through mobile technologies (Vol. 3). Geneva: World Health Organization.Google Scholar