Combining development, capacity building and responsible innovation in GCRF-funded medical technology research

Louise Bezuidenhout, Julian Stirling, Valerian L Sanga, Paul T Nyakyi, Grace A Mwakajinga, Richard Bowman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Development-oriented funding schemes such as the UK Global Challenges Research Fund (GCRF) have opened up opportunities for collaborations between low-middle income countries (LMICs) and high-income country (HIC) researchers. In particular, funding for medical technology research has seen a rise in previously under-represented disciplines such as physics and engineering. These collaborations have considerable potential to advance healthcare in LMICs, yet can pose challenges experienced to researchers undertaking these collaborations. Key challenges include a lack of tradition of HIC/LMIC collaborations within participating departments, lack of experience with development agendas, designing contextually-appropriate technologies and ensuring long-term viability of research outputs. This paper reflects on these key challenges, using the experiences of the authors on the Open Laboratory Instrumentation (OLI) project as a focalizing lens. This project was a GCRF-funded collaboration between physicists in the UK and engineers in Tanzania to develop an open-source, 3D-printed, fully-automated laboratory microscope. The paper highlights key ethics lessons learnt.

Original languageEnglish
JournalDeveloping World Bioethics
Early online date26 Mar 2022
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 26 Mar 2022

Keywords

  • GCRF
  • LMIC
  • development
  • ethics
  • medical technologies

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Issues, ethics and legal aspects
  • Health(social science)
  • Health Policy

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