The future of healthcare: live-saving innovations for the bottom billion

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

From India to Mexico, meet the innovators in open-heart surgery and palliative care developing unconventional health solutions

Many of the most radical health innovations, that will improve the lives of hundreds of millions of people, will come from a new breed of frugal innovator in the developing world. Working with few resources but with high ambitions to meet huge unmet needs they will develop unconventional solutions, precisely because they make their lack of resources work for them.

Frugal innovators will come in many shapes and forms.

Some like Devi Shetty have created super-lean low-cost versions of familiar treatments. Dubbed the Henry Ford of heart surgery, Shetty has single-mindedly sought the best way to do open-heart surgery, on an industrial scale. The result is that his family-owned hospital chainNarayana Hrudayalaya (NH) now does hundreds of basic heart operations each month, for anything between $2,000 and $5,000 per operation, a fraction of the cost of the same operation in the US. NH group also makes higher profit margins and delivers higher quality than most US hospitals, and 50% of patients get free or subsidised treatments.

Source: The Guardian (link opens in a new window)

Health Care
Base of the Pyramid