This paper presents a second look at the computation of the Medical Technology Score (MTS), a metric designed to convey the relative technical competence of a health facility. Modification of the score to reflect local disease burden is discussed, as are its intended interpretation. Extensive data collection on up-to-date equipment and personnel resources must be undertaken before the MTS can become useful as a policy-relevant tool.
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Ms. Fatunde is pursuing an MSc in International Health Policy (Health Economics) at the London School of Economics and Political Science, where she is approaching the challenges that accompany medical equipment dissemination from a policy/health economics perspective. Her long-term research interest is in access to appropriate medical technology in low-income nations.
Mr. Kotin is pursuing an MPhil in Engineering for Sustainable Development at the University of Cambridge. Timothy previously worked as a consultant in both the New York and Nairobi offices of Dalberg Global Development Advisors. His present focus is on employing technology and smart tools and systems towards improving the lives of everyday people.
As has long been articulated by the World Health Organization and numerous researchers in the field, the state of medical device technology in the developing world has long been lacking. Roughly 95% of all medical equipment in the developing world is imported, with much of these imports coming in the form of medical device donation. This approach of importation and donation often creates a hodgepodge system of equipment acquisition, in which healthcare facilities of the developing world ultimately accumulate medical equipment that fail to address the actual needs of the facility and community at large.
In their recent work titled: “Refinement of the Facility-Level Medical Technology Score to Reflect Key Disease Response Capacity and Personnel Availability,” Fatunde and Kotin expand upon their earlier work developing the Medical Technology Score (MTS), an innovative metric that provides healthcare providers and policy makers a quantitative tool to more accurately understand the landscape of medical device readiness at a national and subnational level. In this work, the authors provide new insights on how the metric can be improved to provide additional information on the capabilities of facilities and their personnel at handling the specific conditions most commonly seen in a given region. For the authors, this new metric fits into a larger initiative that seems to be brewing in the field of medical device implementation–one in which the cooperative efforts of local engineers, physicians, policymakers, NGOS, and multilateral organizations can be synthesized towards more effective progress for the face of healthcare in the developing world.
This article appeared in the 2013 issue of IEEE Journal of Translational Engineering in Health and Medicine.
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