Innovative ideas for medical devices are often costly for manufacturers to make and for patients to own. However, not all innovative medical devices will cost you an arm and a leg.

Health Innovations to Save Women and Children Now featured ten breakthrough innovations in the health industry, which may have an immediate impact on women and children from around the world.(1) These innovations range from preventive medicine for newborns to affordable PPAP machines.

According to PATH’s website, if these low-cost innovations are brought to market in low-resource countries, a potential of 1.2 million mothers and children could be saved by the end of 2015.(1)

1.) Non-pneumatic Anti Shock Garment (NASG)

This garment looks similar to a neoprene wet suit and was originally developed by NASA. The anti-shock garment can slow excessive bleeding after childbirth and held aid in stabilization of the mother, until emergency care can be accessed, by wrapping the garment around the lower half of the body and abdomen. (2)

Collaborators: PATH; University of California, San Francisco; Pathfinder International; and Blue Fuzion Group

2.) bcPAP

Substituting a $6,000 Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) device with an aquarium pump, may sound a bit outlandish and its assumed effectivity may initially seem dubious. However, a $400 bubble Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (bCPAP) device created by Rice University students, using an aquarium pump (to deliver air) and a water bottle (to relieve pressure) does the job well and has reported a boot in neonatal survival rates from its Rice University clinical study.(1, 3-4)

3.) Phone Oximeter™

The University of British Columbia and LionsGate Technologies developed the Phone Oximeter, which is a mobile health platform. (5) The Phone Oximeter uses a low-cost sensor, which is powered by a cell phone, to measure blood oxygen levels. After measuring the blood oxygen levels, the device then offers diagnosis and treatment advice.(5-8)

4.) Backpack PLUS

In developing countries, many people may not go to a hospital, emergency facility, or doctor. Community Health Workers help bridge this gap, in order to help provide medical care to those who need it.(7) The Backpack PLUS project aims to develop a Backpack PLUS Toolkit for life-threatening diseases, such malaria. The Backpack PLUS Toolkit prototype includes medicines, diagnostics, and health supplies that CHWs will be able to use on patients in the community.(8-9)

Collaborators: UNICEF; PSI; Save the Children; MDG Health Alliance; and the One Million CHW Campaign.

Are there other breakthrough innovations that should focus on affordability and accessibility? Do you have any other examples of affordable breakthrough innovations? I want to know your thoughts and comments! Please leave them below!

- RSpelich ^_^












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