At the MHTF, we support a lot of innovative projects, from mobile clinics in Nairobi to mobile applications. However, the most important aspect of innovation and new technologies are not how cool they sound or how easily they can be sold to investors or funders. What matters for innovation in the maternal health field is that its works and improves the lives of mothers, which is why our projects include evaluative aspects. Appropriate technology is technology that works.
A conference in London recently brought together “engineers, health workers, donors and charities to look at devices specifically designed for the developing world.”
The Guardian‘s Poverty Matters blog notes these successful innovations, including:
a nipple shield for breastfeeding HIV-positive mothers, which can block transmission of the virus to their babies; an eRanger ambulance – a motorbike sidecar stretcher that can handle rough terrain far better than a four-wheeled ambulance and is much cheaper; and a stethoscope that can attach to a mobile phone, allowing doctors to monitor hard-to-reach patients remotely.