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Appropriate Design of Medical Technologies for Emerging Regions: The Case of Aurolab

[+] Author Affiliations
Jaspal S. Sandhu, Aman Bhandari, Mahad Ibrahim

University of California at Berkeley

P. Balakrishnan


Paper No. IMECE2005-81291, pp. 213-218; 6 pages
  • ASME 2005 International Mechanical Engineering Congress and Exposition
  • Engineering/Technology Management
  • Orlando, Florida, USA, November 5 – 11, 2005
  • Conference Sponsors: Engineering and Technology Management Group
  • ISBN: 0-7918-4230-4 | eISBN: 0-7918-3769-6
  • Copyright © 2005 by ASME


Healthcare delivery in emerging regions presents a unique set of challenges and is characterized largely by poor infrastructure. Though there is significant variation from country to country - and even within countries - in emerging regions, common themes emerge, such as overreliance on direct payment schemes, unreliable supply chains, and intermittent power in rural settings. These themes in turn impose particular design requirements on manufacturers of medical devices and pharmaceuticals; this paper focuses on these design requirements. We illustrate the importance of designing specifically for the developing context, using the example of Aurolab, a non-profit medical manufacturer located in Tamil Nadu, India. Started in 1992, Aurolab began operations with the manufacture of intraocular lenses (IOL), implantable polymer lenses for cataract surgery, becoming the first to produce this technology in India. Today Aurolab produces a variety of medical devices and ophthalmic pharmaceuticals, and deliver their products to 120 countries worldwide. Aurolab’s products illustrate many of the key design requirements for healthcare delivery in India and in other emerging contexts.

Copyright © 2005 by ASME
Topics: Design , Biomedicine



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