When you get sick and need to see a doctor, you go to the hospital. It is fairly straight-forward. You put your clothes on, grab your keys, wallet or purse, along with your health insurance card and go to a hospital. Once you get there, you check-in at the reception and wait your turn to see a licensed professional. You are diagnosed, treated, and sent home. You probably didn’t have to worry about hours of trek through miserable and sometimes life-threatening terrain or lack of qualified professionals at hospitals. You most certainly didn’t have to worry about lack of electricity or crumbling, mold-ridden infrastructure awaiting you at your point-of-care.
Yet, this is the reality for a vast majority of the world’s population who live on less than a dollar per day. Studies have shown that anywhere between 40 to 70% of medical devices in low and middle income countries are out-of-service or not in use due to lack of training or missing accessories and consumables. Yes, you read that correctly. Against all odds, when a mother finally makes it to the hospital, there is a good chance that 50% of the medical devices won’t be available to save her life. This is a modern-day tragedy considering how we’ve managed to unlock the potential of technology to provide care unlike any other generation in human history.
However, hope is not lost. There is a growing number of innovative organizations that are addressing this problem. Nongovernmental organizations, public sector institutions, private and corporate foundations, academic institutions, and even individual volunteers are coming together and forming cross-sectoral partnerships to solve this problem.
Assist International is proud to be at the forefront of testing and scaling healthcare technology management related solutions that can ultimately improve safe and timely access to care. To find out more, visit https://www.assistinternational.org/global-health/healthcare-technology-management/