Access to healthcare. We hear about it in the news constantly over US nationalized healthcare reforms and the progress of the Millennium Development Goals in developing countries. The entry point into any procedure can promote or dissuade a healthy standard of living. A traumatic experience from a hospital, costs of care that are ever increasing and endless amounts of insurance paperwork for each doctor’s visit greatly dissuade anyone from wanting to visit a doctor again- even if we know it’s for our own good. In many low-to-middle income countries (LMIC’s) in Africa, Asia and Latin America, those points of access have more graphic experiences, with medical centers that are few and far between, and have more difficult red tape to navigate. One huge problems for many of these medical centers is a low supply of appropriate medical equipment. Currently, 90% of the world’s medial technology is creating for only 10% of the world’s population. And yet, we continue to donate our devices (often decommissioned and obsolete) to these hospitals.
If patients in an LMIC have significantly different challenges, why do we keep treating them as though our healthcare experiences are exactly the same?
Sisu Global Health is a medical technology startup that aims to implement culture-centric and resource-driven devices into hospitals around the world. We are led by three enterprising women, Carolyn Yarina, Gillian Henker, and Katherine Kirsch, with experience working in Southeast Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa. Our goal is to bridge the ‘medical device design’ gap by gathering genuine feedback from users and beneficiaries, starting with two devices that we designed ourselves in Ghana and India. Eventually, we will provide a platform to commercialize devices and offer continued feedback for device design, both from Sisu and other design firms.