Innovation in income‐poor environments. BJS 2015; 102.

Published: 27th January 2015

Authors: F. C. Oppong

Background

At the core of surgical development in any economic environment lies innovation. Innovation in high‐income countries (HICs) often derives from research, whereas innovation in low‐ and middle‐income countries (LMICs) may be spontaneous owing to a desperate drive to meet a local need. The local needs are substantial because of the unequal access to healthcare in LMICs.

Method

The experience of the author in working in LMICs through Operation Hernia, a medical charity, provides a backdrop for this review. Other published innovative devices and models are discussed.

Results

Innovation in income‐poor countries has provided cost‐effective but efficient solutions to local health needs. Some innovations have been enhanced and adopted worldwide.

Conclusion

HICs can learn more from innovative strategies adopted in LMICs.

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