New Report: Medical Equipment and Clinic Electrification Challenges and Recommendations
The WHO estimates that 70% of medical devices in the Global South do not function and remain unused, in large part because the design of most medical equipment does not reflect the needs of off- and weak-grid clinics. Our report seeks to raise awareness of this under-appreciated challenge.
Our newest research report, Medical Equipment and Clinic Electrification, highlights the critical role of medical equipment in clinic electrification efforts.
The WHO estimates that 70% of medical devices in the Global South do not function and remain unused, in large part because the design of most medical equipment does not reflect the needs of off- and weak-grid clinics. A lack of appropriate medical equipment hinders clinic electrification efforts and makes it harder to deliver basic health services in off- and weak-grid regions. Our report seeks to raise awareness of this under-appreciated challenge.
This research represents a first step towards better coordination around and increased investment in this critical area by providing a preliminary assessment of technical and commercial barriers to large-scale deployment of medical equipment in off- and weak-grid clinics, as well as actionable recommendations to make progress against these barriers.
These barriers include:
- Complexity and variety of medical devices available on the market
- Lack of resources to guide equipment selection
- Product designs intended for markets without the energy supply challenges and harsh environments common in off- and weak-grid settings
- Immature regulatory frameworks that do not address energy requirements, efficiency or power supply
- Narrow mandates of many large-scale public health interventions
- Large-scale equipment dumping
- Sectoral silos
The report also provides recommendations that can help start to address the barriers listed above.
By highlighting the challenges and opportunities for the role of medical equipment in clinic electrification efforts, we hope to raise awareness of this critical issue among donors, policymakers and industry stakeholders. With deepened coordination between the health and energy sectors, improved outcomes are possible. A holistic approach to clinic electrification that pairs appropriately designed medical equipment alongside the provision of energy systems is crucial to the development of more sustainable and effective health systems.