MassDevice and the Institute for Technology Entrepreneurship & Commercialization at Boston University’s School of Management held the first annual World Health Medical Technology Conference May 17, 2010. Creating a business model that helps solve the global problem of providing healthcare to the planet’s poorest people dominated the presentations and discussions of the day-long event. One out of every four people worldwide lives on less than $1.25 a day, and bringing advanced, or even adequate, healthcare to them may not seem feasible. The chances that an entrepreneur would be interested in innovating and commercializing technology for populations that don’t even have regular access to doctors seems even slimmer. Yet the series of healthcare providers, technologists and investors that spoke at the WHMTC suggested that rescaled markets, cultural understanding and not just technological innovation but business innovation, can all help provide healthcare to people who would not have access to the care that the world’s richest countries can barely provide for themselves.
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