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Kaiser Health News Examines Health Innovations From Developing Countries

Kaiser Health News examines several health care innovations that started out in developing countries and were then brought to the U.S.

The article looks at GE Healthcare’s $3 billion Healthymagination strategy that aims “to use ‘reverse innovation'” to develop products, such as a portable electrocardiogram machine that was originally made for China. “GE is tapping into the increasingly popular idea that medical innovation should be a global two-way street in which the West benefits from the resourcefulness and frugality poorer nations apply to health problems. The idea isn’t new, but it’s gaining traction, beyond the creation of products and technology, as public health experts rethink ways to prevent disease and deliver care,” according to Kaiser Health News.

The article includes several other examples of approaches to health care that have been adopted in the U.S. after being pioneered in the developing world. “They run the gamut from basic to high-tech – including an electronic medical records program in use in more than 20 countries.” The article features interviews with a public health expert, an academic and a business consultant. It also notes a counter perspective from Josh Ruxin, a public health and development expert based in Rwanda. “I think there are a ton of lessons that can be applied in primary care and at community health centers from countries like Rwanda,” Ruxin, who runs a health and poverty program in that country, said. “But I haven’t sensed that the United States is ready for that” (Schiff, 4/9).