Archive for the ‘medical technology’ Category

Economist on low cost medical innovation

This week, the Economist has two brief overviews of low cost medical technology innovation in China and India and the potential implications for health care in these countries and in high income settings. See How China and India can help cut Western bills and Frugal Healing.

The articles offer some interesting insight into how joint ventures are working (Medtronic) and how and why multinationals are attracted to a “culture of frugality,” but two other points caught my attention. One is the noted ability of local firms to overcome skepticism of their lower cost products with incredible amounts of clinical research (the article cites MicroPort – a Chinese heart stent manufacturer). The other is the suggestion by Rachel Lee (of Boston Consulting Group) that the “in-country labs set up by foreign firms are doing better at cutting-edge research than are their local rivals.” I really wanted more details about what kinds of research she is referring to.

Finally, I like the quote attributed to Omar Ishrak of GE that the term “frugal innovation” “understates the revolution under way.” He points to how “firms in emerging markets are leapfrogging the latest technologies, such as miniaturization, mobile communications and advanced materials.” The result – both cheaper and better products.