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Health Innovations Should ‘Know No Borders’; Experts Should Look Past Distinction Between Local, Global Health Systems

STAT: Global health innovations can be game-changers at home, too
Aikaterini Mantzavinou, Bryan J. Ranger, Emma Costa, Samuel Rodriques, and Hok Hei Tam, all students at MIT and cofounders of the MIT Cost-effective Health Care Initiative; Rajarshi Banerjee, associate at Ropes & Gray LLP.; and Lindsay Brownell, MIT alumna and freelance science writer

“…[I]nnovations that emerge in developing countries tend to be labeled as solutions for ‘global health.’ But that term has a specific — and possibly misleading — connotation in the United States. … [I]n a world where health issues in rich and poor countries are becoming more similar, innovation should know no borders. Health care solutions that emerge in developing countries, or that are researched and funded in the United States but aimed at developing countries, could help address health care challenges here in the United States. As active participants in Boston’s life sciences ecosystem, we believe that the faster we can do away with the distinction between ‘global health’ and our ‘local’ health care system — in the public perception, as well as among researchers, policymakers, businesses, and philanthropists — the better our chances of finding sustainable solutions to health care challenges everywhere in the world” (3/14).

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Filling the need for trusted information on national health issues, the Kaiser Family Foundation is a nonprofit organization based in Menlo Park, California.