How Does a New Health Technology Hit the Market?

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So what we've seen in the past 10 years is often referred to as pilotitis. There's been this proliferation of proof of concept, demonstration projects that have tried to explore how these technologies might be used. And that's been to some extent criticized by many because, the expectation has been that those pilots would eventually bulge in into a full scale deployment across a district or across a country.

But what these pilots have done is demonstrate to us what is possible, what is feasible in this kind of challenging circumstances. Now, part of the paradigm shift that we've seen in the past five years is really the conversation about, how do we start to pick the most promising solutions from these pilot projects and start to think about integrating them into the formal health systems, scaling them at a national level and thinking about the necessary elements that have to be in place for that kind of scale to occur.

So the first stage is of course the vision. A country has to have a concerted vision and a strategy for what they need to do, and what their aspirations are, from a public health stand point, let alone not including the technology, but thinking about what they want to accomplish as public health infrastructure.

Is it establishing that denominator of high risk population, so women who are likely to become pregnant and experience childbirth, high risk drug use populations who are at risk of HIV. Identifying those priorities is the first step. The next step is identifying the appropriate technologies that make sense to use in that context given the manpower you have, given the ability to expand training and to purchase equipment and to sustain the kinds of innovations we are talking about.

And then it is identifying the right partner mix, whether it's engaging the private sector, whether it's engaging the telcos and thinking about how do we move now from the ideas that we have to the full-scale deployment at a national.