This book chapter underlines the need for affordable and appropriate (frugal) medical devices to meet the healthcare needs of developing countries, as well as the need to enhance regional capabilities for public health security. The lack of affordable and appropriate medical devices to serve developing countries has been a global health concern, long before the COVID-19 pandemic. Most medical devices meant for developing countries are designed by firms in high-income countries who innovate primarily for their home markets. This market gap for frugal medical devices, largely unaddressed by Western multinational firms, offers an opportunity for innovative firms in developing countries. South Africa, with its growing medical device manufacturing sector, well-established science and technology infrastructure, and world-class universities with high-level biomedical research capacity, is well positioned to tap into this market gap.
Book Title: Transformative innovation in times of change: Lessons for Africa from COVID-19.
Publication date: 2023
Article title: Enabling Inclusive Technological Change through Transformative Policies: Frugal innovations from medical device manufacturing firms in South Africa.
Authors: Chakravarty, S. and Knorringa, P.
Cite this article as: Chakravarty, S. and Knorringa, P. (2023). Enabling Inclusive Technological Change through Transformative Policies: Frugal innovations from medical device manufacturing firms in South Africa. In E Kraemer-Mbula, R Hanlin, R Byrne, C Daniels and A Kingiri (Ed.), Transformative innovation in times of change: Lessons for Africa from COVID-19. (pp. 169-206). African Minds.
Keywords: frugal innovation, medical devices, South Africa, transformative policies, innovation policies, inclusion, technological change, technological capabilities.