On Tuesday, February 24, SAI traveled to the Bay Area for a roundtable discussion on ‘Innovative Solutions to India’s Healthcare Problems.’ In collaboration with USAID and the South Asian Healthcare Leadership Forum (SAHLF), the event explored the current ecosystem surrounding India’s healthcare system, and avenues that should be further explored for identifying worthwhile investments in healthcare.
SAHLF is a new group that was started on the East Coast, with a goal of bringing together and organizing the growing South Asian health care leadership community, and developing a collective agenda for what the community can execute together.
The 35 event attendees came from various backgrounds, including practitioners and Harvard alums who are working on innovative healthcare projects. The event was hosted at the Rosewood Sand Hill Hotel in Menlo Park, California by Sumir Chadha, Managing Director at WestBridge Capital and the newest member of SAI’s Advisory Council.
Tarun Khanna, Director of the South Asia Institute, and Jorge Paulo Lemann Professor, Harvard Business School, started the event by speaking about SAI’s interdisciplinary work in South Asia, including several projects related to health, such as Primary Care Delivery, Innovation of Medical Devices, and Mobile Technology and Development in South Asia.
Khanna introduced Manpreet Anand, currently the Deputy Assistant Administrator in the Asia Bureau at USAID, who spoke about how USAID collaborates and partners to support innovation in India in the health sector as well as education, urban sanitation, energy, mobile, financial inclusion, and agriculture. Singh highlighted President Obama’s recent announcement in India unveiling the Indian Diaspora Investment Initiative to engage the Indian-American Diaspora to support, partner, and co-invest in India’s development.
Dr. Piya Sorcar, Professor at Stanford University, and Founder and CEO of TeachAIDS, spoke next about the financial and implementation challenges of implementing health care innovations on the ground. Sorcar’s organization, TeachAIDS, creates educational technology that addresses HIV/AIDS prevention around the world. Today, its animated software is being used by governments, NGOs, and educational institutions in over 70 countries, including Botswana, China, India, South Africa, and the United States. Sorcar explained that the animated educational videos can make complex ideas much more accessible to many different populations compared to traditional teaching methods.
After the presentations, attendees discussed various solutions for bringing healthcare innovations to India. One example is the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, which fosters groundbreaking fundamental science that enables transformational solutions using interdisciplinary teams and by creating advanced new tools for scientific discovery.
Globally Transformative Technologies at Lawrence Berkeley Lab: https://www.ligtt.org
USAID U.S. Global Development Lab: http://www.usaid.gov/GlobalDevLab