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Widespread Use Of Current Technologies 'Essential' To Improve Global Health

Noting that this week’s issue of the Lancet explores the theme of “[a]ccess to beneficial health technology, including essential medicines and medical devices, for those most in need,” a Lancet editorial states, “Maximizing use of current health technologies (drugs, devices, biological products, medical and surgical procedures, support systems, and organizational systems) is essential to improving global health.” Collaboration between the journal and Imperial College London has resulted in a new Commission on technologies for global health, which examines different ways to broaden the use of new technologies, from bringing down cost to making them more culturally acceptable, the editorial notes.

“Technologies do not have to be specifically designed for health purposes to have an effect,” the editorial continues, noting that information technology, distribution innovations, and “wider technologies associated with improving road safety, sanitation, and food supplies are crucial to improve health for all” (8/1). An executive summary of the commission’s report, as well as a video interview with lead author Peter Howitt, are available online from the Lancet (8/1).

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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.