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20.05.14 - CODEV’s EssentialTech team, together with the EssentialMed foundation, jointly led a session at the Geneva Health Forum on the development of essential technologies that may impact global health issues.

Two appropriate medical devices projects of the EssentialTech program were presented: GlobalDiagnostiX, which aims at developing a digital X-ray machine, and GlobalNeonat, for an infant incubator. The presentations were followed by a very dynamic workshop involving key players from the Global Health sector. The challenges and pitfalls encountered in designing medical devices for developing countries were highlighted. In particular, the non-technical issues were discussed such as the importance of user training and the role of telemedicine with regards to quality assurance in the hospital. One clear outcome of the session is that the involvement of end users in the design of the devices is crucial. A strong support from local actors and of political leadership is of capital importance for the deployment of medical devices as well as understanding the competition from major manufacturers. The methodology of the EssentialTech program, taking all aspects of the value chain into account from the very beginning, was thus recognized as an appropriate way of tackling this complexity.

EssentialTech’s projects were also presented on a booth during the 3 days of the event. This enabled the EssentialTech team to establish contacts with key players in Global Health that will support the development and deployment of the devices.

Matthieu Gani, GlobalNeonat's project manager, was interviewed on the rationale of the EssentialTech program of EPFL which aims at developping technologies adapted to the context and the needs of ressource-poor countries (min. 2:01 in the vidéo).

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