MacArthur genius inventing durable, user-friendly diagnostic equipment for the world’s poorest hospitals

Donated medical equipment fills many a junk room in the hospitals of developing regions around the world. Much of it is useless due to lack of staff training. Some of it is down for maintenance or repairs that nobody nearby knows how to perform.

And surely a lot of the extraneous high-tech machinery was sent, with the best of intentions, to help with diagnostics, including imaging.

A 2016 MacArthur fellow is working to replace the pretty but useless gear with potentially life-saving technologies.

Rebecca Richards-Kortum, head of Rice University’s Institute for Global Health, “uses the latest advances in nanotechnology, fabrication and molecular imaging to help invent equipment that’s rugged enough to stand up to the most challenging clinical conditions and cheap enough to make sense for communities that usually lack access to health care,” the Washington Post reports.

“Cheaper can certainly be as effective,” Richards-Kortum tells the newspaper. “In some cases it can be better in the sense that it improves access.”

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