Extremely affordable health innovations at World Health Care Congress, April 14-16, Washington

March 13, 2009

The "Extremely Affordable Health Innovations" Poster Session, organized and sponsored by the 6th Annual World Health Care Congress with support from Grameen Health, will serve as a platform for innovative organizations involved in developing or implementing extremely affordable solutions in health care delivery. These organizations will showcase the technologies and business processes they have developed, or are in the process of developing, to the Congress. Six organizations will be chosen to deliver an oral presentation to the full congress.

Examples of what you'll see:

-$25 incubator

Embrace is a nonprofit organization that aims to help the millions of vulnerable babies born every year in developing countries through a low cost infant incubator. Unlike traditional incubators that cost up to $20,000, the Embrace infant warmer costs $25. The device requires no electricity, has no moving parts, is portable and is safe and intuitive to use. It is designed to help 20 million vulnerable babies born across the globe each year.

-An incutabor made from car parts

The "Car Part" incubator functions as a neo-natal incubator, warming table, and blanket warmer. Automotive parts, available throughout the world, are capable of being repurposed to produce heat, light air, convection, a power reservoir, and auditory and visual alarms. The CIMIT Global Health Initiative and Design that Matters aim to price the incubator at $1,000 or 3 percent of the cost of the current top-of-the-line incubator in America.

-$25 cataract surgery

Using innovative managerial procedures such as allowing surgeons to continuously alternate between two operating tables and moving all non-surgical responsibilities to support staff, Aravind Eye Hospital in India averages nearly 50,000 surgeries per year. The high volume of quality care had enabled Aravind to dramatically reduce cost. Aravind hosts four to five percent of India's ophthalmic procedures, although the facilities represent less than one percent of the country's ophthalmic manpower.

-$2,000 heart bypass surgery

Narayana Hrudayalaya Cardiac Hospitals in Bangalore, India can do high quality heart bypass operations for $2,000 for adults and $2,700 for young children, or about one-third to one-half of what equally good quality hospitals in India charge. Similar operations in the US cost $100,000 or more, but the outcomes and the infection rates are equally good or better with Narayana Hrudayalaya.

-Affordable, sustainable mobile health delivery

ClickHealth addresses two main health care issues in developing countries: 1. Access to medical specialists in under-served regions; 2. Collection of real-time data for interventions in indications such as cancer, HIV/AIDS and maternal mortality. ClickHealth partners with ClickDiagnostics for turning mobile health solutions into rapidly scalable service models. The mobile-based telemedicine service is built around microcredit for health-workers and micro-health insurance for patients.

-Social Marketing and Franchising

Janani provides affordable spacing and limiting family planning methods through its three inter-linked networks of clinics, rural centers and pharmacies in the private sector at an average cost of $2.94 per couple. The network consists of 40 owned clinics and 104 franchisees branded as Surya Clinics, and 7,500 rural centers networked as Surya Health Promoters.

-Expanding markets for fortified rice

Ultra Rice offers a culturally relevant and customizable solution to micronutrient malnutrition. With a focus on sustainability and scalability, the Ultra Rice business model promotes local control and ownership. Low-cost adaptation of existing equipment creates incentives for participation along the supply chain and minimizing the incremental cost of fortification.

Innovations will cover a broad range of healthcare delivery domains including diagnostic technologies, health promotion, medical devices, and community outreach. Information for those interested in submitting an abstract is available at the following link: Posters in Innovation

Additional Exceptional Entries And Citizen's Nominations are Welcome: While the official deadline is passed, we will continue to welcome additional exceptional entries and citizen's nominations.

The project, organized by the World Health Care Congress, as part of its mission of highlighting innovation in health care, with the support of Grameen Health, a Bangladesh-based organization that aims to extend quality health care to the world's poorest citizens. Grameen Health was founded by Professor Muhammad Yunus, founder of Grameen Bank, a micro-lending organization that serves poor populations. Professor Yunus will be speaking at the World Health Care Congress and will be visiting the poster presentations.

Additional presenters include Dr. Devi Shetty, world renowned cardiologist and founder of Narayana Hrudayalaya, which is already the world's largest children's heart hospital, with plans to make the facility the world's largest medical city. Also speaking will be Scott Hillstrom, CEO of the HealthStore Foundation that operates the affordable health franchise called CFWShops in Kenya, and David Green, VP Ashoka on Radical Innovations for Affordable, Quality Care.
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About Grameen Health

Grameen Health aims to establish a sustainable health system in Bangladesh that will serve the health needs of all Bangladeshis income levels with low cost and high quality health care. Grameen Health will design low-cost, affordable health services for all of Bangladesh, especially the lowest income women and children, and sustain these services thru social business. In addition to existing social business partnerships with Danone and Veolia, Grameen Health has recently announced partnerships with Pfizer, GE Healthcare, and the Mayo Clinic. Grameen Health continues to gather more new and innovative partners committed to harness best practices to build sustainable business models that can meet the unmet health needs of the poor in Bangladesh.

About Grameen Bank

Grameen Bank (GB) has reversed conventional banking practice by removing the need for collateral and created a banking system based on mutual trust, accountability, participation and creativity. GB provides credit to the poorest of the poor in rural Bangladesh, without any collateral. At GB, credit is a cost effective weapon to fight poverty and it serves as a catalyst in the over all development of socio-economic conditions of the poor who have been kept outside the banking orbit on the grounds that they are poor and hence not bankable. As of January, 2009, it has 7.71 million borrowers, 97 percent of whom are women. With 2,541 branches, GB provides services in 83,744 villages, covering almost 100 percent of the total villages in Bangladesh. Grameen Bank was jointly awarded the 2006 Nobel Peace Prize with its founder Dr. Muhammad Yunus. See www.grameen.com for additional information.

World Health Care Congress

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