Innovation in health technology key to improving access to healthcare in India

At the invitation of the Indian Institute of Science (IISC), in Bangalore, Professor MacMahon, Principal Director of The George Institute for Global Health, addressed the faculty and students of the Biological Sciences Department at the IISc campus on 17 May 2013.

He highlighted the plight of many people in India and the rest of Asia, who do not have access to basic healthcare. He stressed that innovation in health technologies is key to improving healthcare access. Use of technology to develop low-cost and affordable solutions, that are financially sustainable, would significantly increase accessibility to healthcare. With the current ratio of six doctors per 10,000 people in India - the lowest being Africa with one and the UK being highest with 30 - incremental changes to the healthcare system would be insufficient.

Radical change and jugaad innovation will be required to accelerate bridging the gap between the current situation and the provision of healthcare to all. In closing, Professor MacMahon suggested that collaboration between The George Institute and IISc had the potential to identify solutions that have a large scale and immediate impact.