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Frugal innovation in medicine for low resource settings

Viet-Thi Tran 1, 2, * Philippe Ravaud 1, 2, 3
* Corresponding author
2 CRESS - U1153 - Equipe 5 : METHODS - Méthodes de l’évaluation thérapeutique des maladies chroniques
UPD5 - Université Paris Descartes - Paris 5, CRESS (U1153 / UMR_A_1125 / UMR_S_1153) - Centre de Recherche Épidémiologie et Statistique Sorbonne Paris Cité
Abstract : Whilst it is clear that technology is crucial to advance healthcare: innovation in medicine is not just about high-tech tools, new procedures or genome discoveries. In constrained environments, healthcare providers often create unexpected solutions to provide adequate healthcare to patients. These inexpensive but effective frugal innovations may be imperfect, but they have the power to ensure that health is within reach of everyone. Frugal innovations are not limited to low-resource settings: ingenuous ideas can be adapted to offer simpler and disruptive alternatives to usual care all around the world, representing the concept of " reverse innovation ". In this article, we discuss the different types of frugal innovations, illustrated with examples from the literature, and argue for the need to give voice to this neglected type of innovation in medicine.
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Submitted on : Monday, July 11, 2016 - 11:17:30 AM
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Viet-Thi Tran, Philippe Ravaud. Frugal innovation in medicine for low resource settings. BMC Medicine, BioMed Central, 2016, 14 (1), pp.102. ⟨10.1186/s12916-016-0651-1⟩. ⟨inserm-01344005⟩

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