Medical Devices Improving Healthcare for Underserved Populations

Sushmita Mukherjee, PhD, Academic, Scientist, Humanitarian Thought Leader

Sushmita Mukherjee, PhD, Academic, Scientist, Humanitarian Thought Leader

Sushmita Mukherjee, PhD, takes us to places she has known in India and rural communities in the developing world, struggling with access to the most basic healthcare needs, without doctors and nurses to administer care. She describes the disparity between resources devoted to fighting cancer in advanced nations, while children in remote, poor countries may never lead normal lives due to developmental disorders arising from malnutrition. Bouts of malaria, a preventable disease that occurs when simple public health and environmental measures fail to be taken, leave its victims progressively weakened during their lifetimes.

The problem is one of distribution and infrastructure. However, with cell phones facilitating telemedicine, basic imaging, and solar power, technology is starting to bridge the gulf in areas where there are no healthcare providers, power, roads, or refrigeration.

In the Podcast, Sushmita discusses ongoing demonstration projects, the scalability of technology to meet large-scale medical needs, and alternatives to not-for-profit and government healthcare delivery models. Social Entrepreneurship is a model concept being developed by visionaries who are searching for the balance between the humanitarian and the commercial.

Furthering her own Thought Leadership, that combines her academic background with humanitarian interests, Sushmita blogs and envisions an interactive Web Cafe, where others who share her mission can add their voice and ideas to a wider discussion that brings healthcare to un- and underserved populations—wherever they may be.

Please leave your comments and questions on the blog.

Sushmita Mukherjee, PhD, is assistant professor of Biochemistry, and director of the Multiphoton Microscopy Facility, at Weill Cornell Medical College, in New York City.

Links

Sushmita’s Blog: CrossRoads/Where Technology Meets Global Healthcare Needs
Scientists Without Borders
Rice University, Beyond Traditional Borders
Harvard University, The Whitesides Research Group

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